Ally's Amazing Cajun Pasta
Creamy cajun pasta with sausage and shrimp that will have your family asking for seconds!
I recently made this pasta for Friday night dinner with my husband. Previously, my husband was resistant to the idea of me making a cajun pasta, as he had never liked cajun pasta at any restaurant that he ordered it from. But, I assured him, that my cajun pasta was unlike any other. So, begrudgingly, he acquiesced and I made my cajun pasta. This pasta made a cajun pasta lover out of my husband! It is now permanently in the Friday night pasta rotation, so I would say it is a success! If you are looking for something different to cook for your family that will certainly be a hit, this is the recipe to try! And to boot, it is quick, easy, and tastes amazing! Here is how to make it, see my recipe below:
Ally's Amazing Cajun Pasta
Pasta & Sauce
1 box penne pasta (12 oz)
1/2 yellow onion
1 cup (1/2 pint) of heavy cream
3 tbs of flour
3 tbs of unsalted butter
2 tbs of olive oil
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp fresh thyme (if you have it)
3/4 cup water with 1 tsp chicken Better Than Bullion dissolved in it or 3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup (or to taste) grated parmesan cheese (optional)
1/2 lb of shrimp
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp seasoning salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
one clove of garlic
1 or 2 beef kielbasa sausages or andouille sausage or whatever sausage you prefer
1 tbs olive oil
Dice the 1/2 onion. Mince one clove of garlic. Mince the fresh thyme. Cut the sausage at an angle into 1 inch pieces. Prepare the shrimp. If you need to devein your shrimp, do that. I detailed my shrimp, but that is optional.
Put the onion in a pot with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper. Let the onions cook on medium until they are translucent, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, in another pot, begin boiling water for the pasta. Once the water is boiling, cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.
Once the onions are translucent, it is time to make a roux in the same pot with the onions. (A roux is a butter and flour mixture that will thicken the sauce.) Making the roux: Set your burner on low while making a roux to avoid burning your butter and flour. Add 3 tablespoons of butter to the pot and let them melt completely. Once they have melted, sprinkle 3 tablespoons of flour into the pot one tablespoon at a time, stirring each one into the mixture until it is combined with the onions and butter. Cook the roux on low for a few minutes to make sure that the flour is cooked out. If you do not cook out the flour, you will taste the flour in your sauce. See photos of how to make a roux and sauce below.
Once you have cooked the roux, add the 1 teaspoon of chicken Better Than Bullion dissolved in 3/4 cup of water or your 3/4 cup of chicken stock. Stir this into the roux and onion mixture until combined and cook this together over low heat until the mixture is thickened.
Once the mixture has thickened, add 1 cup of heavy cream. Stir until combined.
Add the paprika, dried and minced fresh thyme, remaining 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning. You can use a cajun seasoning blend instead of these spices if you prefer, but it will likely be saltier. Cook on medium to low heat to combine the spices into the sauce. I did not make this recipe with cheese, however, if you want to make this a cheesy cajun pasta, then at this point you would add 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese to the sauce and stir until combined.
The sauce is now finished. By now your pasta should be cooked, drained, covered, and set aside. Pour the sauce over the pasta, stir the sauce into the pasta, cover it again, and set it aside.
Now it's time to cook the shrimp. You can cook the shrimp in the same pot that the sauce was in or you can use a pan. Put two tablespoons of olive oil in the pan with one minced clove of garlic. Let the garlic cook on medium to low until fragrant. Then, add the shrimp and sprinkle the seasoning salt, paprika, and chili powder over it. Let the shrimp cook on each side until it turns pink and opaque. Remove the shrimp from the pan and mix into the pasta. See photos below.
Now cook the sausage. See photos below. You can cook the sausage in the same pan you used for the shrimp. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. If you are using a smoked sausage, it should only take a few minutes to cook. Cook the sausage on medium heat, turning them over as they cook, until they are slightly brown on the edges. Then, add them to your pasta, and you are done! Cajun Pasta is served!
How to make a roux for this recipe in pictures
How to make shrimp and sausage for this recipe in pictures