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Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Exquisite Cajun Shrimp Pasta: A Flavorful Fusion of Spice and Creaminess

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Dive into a culinary adventure with our Cajun Shrimp Pasta recipe, where bold Cajun flavors meet creamy pasta goodness. This dish combines succulent shrimp, aromatic spices, and rich cream sauce to create a symphony of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds. Whether you’re a seafood lover or simply craving a taste of the South, this recipe is sure to become a new favorite. Let’s embark on a journey of flavor and indulge in the irresistible allure of Cajun cuisine!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16 ounce) box of linguine pasta
  • 1 pound medium peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 2 Tablespoons old bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) salted butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 (14.5 ounces) can fire roasted tomatoes

Optional Garnish:

  • Fresh chopped parsley
  • Shredded parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Cook Pasta: Cook the linguine pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Season Shrimp: In a small bowl, toss the peeled and deveined shrimp with old bay seasoning, chili powder, smoked paprika, and crushed red pepper until evenly coated.
  3. Sauté Shrimp: In a large skillet or pan, melt the salted butter over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned shrimp to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they turn pink and opaque. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and set aside.
  4. Prepare Cream Sauce: In the same skillet, pour in the heavy cream and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the freshly shredded parmesan cheese until it melts and the sauce thickens slightly.
  5. Add Tomatoes: Once the sauce is thickened, add the fire roasted tomatoes (undrained) to the skillet. Stir well to combine and let the sauce simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  6. Combine Pasta and Sauce: Add the cooked linguine pasta to the skillet with the cream sauce and tomatoes. Toss until the pasta is well coated in the sauce.
  7. Add Shrimp: Gently fold the cooked shrimp into the pasta and sauce mixture, ensuring they are evenly distributed.
  8. Serve: Serve the Cajun Shrimp Pasta hot, garnished with fresh chopped parsley and shredded parmesan cheese if desired.

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Add Vegetables: For an extra burst of flavor and nutrition, consider adding sautéed bell peppers, onions, or spinach to the pasta dish.
  • Adjust Spice Level: Customize the spice level of the dish by adjusting the amount of crushed red pepper and chili powder according to your preference.
  • Make it Creamier: For an even creamier sauce, add a splash of chicken broth or white wine to the skillet along with the heavy cream.

Keto and Low Carb Versions:

  • Keto Option: To make this recipe keto-friendly, substitute the linguine pasta with spiralized zucchini or shirataki noodles. Use a low-carb thickener like xanthan gum or cream cheese to thicken the sauce instead of heavy cream. Adjust the seasonings to ensure they are keto-friendly, and omit the fire roasted tomatoes or use them sparingly due to their carb content.
  • Low Carb Option: Follow the keto option above and further reduce the carb content by using low-carb vegetables like cauliflower rice instead of pasta. Opt for a lower-carb cheese like cheddar or mozzarella, and use diced fresh tomatoes instead of canned.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use a different type of pasta?

A: Absolutely! Feel free to use your favorite pasta shape in this recipe, such as penne, fettuccine, or rigatoni. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the pasta type.

Q: Can I use frozen shrimp?

A: Yes, frozen shrimp can be used in this recipe. Thaw them according to the package instructions before seasoning and cooking.

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time?

A: While it’s best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the sauce and shrimp ahead of time and store them separately in the refrigerator. Reheat the sauce and shrimp on the stove, then toss with freshly cooked pasta before serving.

Q: Is this dish spicy?

A: The level of spiciness can be adjusted to your preference by controlling the amount of crushed red pepper and chili powder used in the seasoning.

Q: Can I use canned shrimp instead of fresh?

A: While fresh shrimp is preferred for optimal flavor and texture, canned shrimp can be used as a substitute. Just be sure to drain them well before seasoning and cooking.

With its vibrant flavors and creamy texture, Cajun Shrimp Pasta is a celebration of Southern cuisine that’s sure to please palates far and wide. Whether enjoyed as a comforting weeknight dinner or served as an impressive entrée for guests, this dish never fails to impress. So, gather your ingredients, fire up the stove, and treat yourself to a taste of Louisiana with every savory bite. Your taste buds are in for a treat!

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