Monday, June 29, 2015

Creamy Cajun Pasta

Hello all, I am posting again, at least for the moment.  This pasta is one my family clamors for.  We have made it at least 3 times recently.  I love all the vegetables, combined with the spiciness of the Cajun seasoning; it is perfect for summer.  We have also used the Cajun seasoning just for grilled chicken, without the pasta, and we love it.  It makes for a bright and summery, flavor-filled dish.  It tastes like something the Cheesecake Factory restaurant would serve.   I think you will love it. I do admit that it takes a bit of time to pull together, but I think it is worth it.

In this version, I made it without mushrooms.  Some of my family like mushrooms, and some do not.  In this dish, I love the mushrooms.

Creamy Cajun Pasta
 Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy, originally from All Recipes
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, divided, recipe listed below
12 ounces linguine or fettuccine pasta
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 medium red bell pepper sliced into thin strips, and then halved (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 medium yellow bell pepper sliced into thin strip,  and then halved (about 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 cup red onion, sliced into strips
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
Fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish

Cajun Seasoning Recipe

2-1/2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1-1/4 teaspoons dried oregano, 1-1/4 teaspoons thyme, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you want additional heat)

Creamy Cajun Pasta Preparation Instructions

1.  Grilling the chicken:  Heat a grill to medium high.  Brush chicken with 1 tablespoon olive oil and rub with 2 teaspoons of the Cajun seasoning.  Grill chicken until cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes.   Transfer grilled chicken to a plate.  Cover chicken with foil, let rest for 5 minutes, then cut into strips.  Set aside.

2.  Pasta Cooking:  Cook pasta according to the directions on the package in salted water. 
Reserve 1/3 cup of pasta water, to be used to thin pasta sauce, if needed.  Set aside.
3.  Making the Creamy Cajun Sauce:  In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in garlic and flour, and cook one minute whisking constantly.  Slowly pour in milk, while whisking constantly to smooth out any lumps in mixture.  Stir in 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning.  Bring mixture to a boil, while stirring constantly, then reduce to low heat.  Stir in Parmesan and cream, and cook until Parmesan has melted.  remove from heat and set aside. 

4.  Preparing the Vegetables:  Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add red and yellow peppers and red onion and sauté for 2 minutes.  Add 1 teaspoon of the Cajun seasoning and the mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes longer. 

5.  Putting the Dish All Together:  In a large serving bowl, toss the drained pasta with the creamy Cajun sauce, adding reserved pasta water, one tablespoon at a time, to thin as desired.  Toss in vegetables and chicken.  Serve warm with parsley as a garnish and additional Cajun seasoning, if desired. 

Thanks for dropping by the Couch.



Bonnie said...

Hi Joni, Nice to see you back. I hope things are going better. This looks delicious. I am definitely trying this one soon.

Unknown said...

Mmmmm.., pasta is my favorite!! Especially this one! I love how all of these flavors just come together and make this a delicious dish! Great job! Looking forward to more posts!!!

Tati said...

This past is amazing!! I wish I had some right now! Great job with this recipe!!