This has been one of the most requested, time tested pasta recipes over the last decade that just never seems to get old.
Though I had intended to post this sometime over the next few months or so, having received a special request for it over the weekend meant getting it into your inboxes as quickly as possible. It's just one of those recipe that works for a weeknight meal, for company or any evening you're looking for a lovely meal with robust flavors and provided you love andouille sausage and shrimp ofcoursel!
I hope that one of these days we can make our own andouille sausages especially since Mr. Hubby is turning out to be quite the impressive sausage maker in our home. But for now, good quality store bought will just have to do.
The ingredients are just too damn delicious for this to come out anything but fabulous; shrimp, andouille sausage, scallions, bell peppers and a hint of cream. And the key to bringing it all together are the spices. Nothing more boring than a dish without a little oomph, something to waken your senses and allow your senses to come alive and your taste-buds to do a little dance.
I love my whatever whenever rub named so because it is exactly that. I use it on EVERYTHING from chicken to salmon to stir-fries and in pasta like this one. Basically just where a little flavor kick is required.
Hope this recipe adds a little oomph in your kitchen this week!
Recipe for Creamy Cajun Style Pasta with Andouille Sausage & Shrimp
1 lb. Penne pasta, regular or whole wheat 1 packet (with 3-4 large links) good quality, precooked Andouille sausages
3 large shallots
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 red bell pepper
1 bunch green onions (scallions)
1-1/2 tbsp. tomato paste
2-1/2 tbsp. whatever whenever rub* or Chef Prudhomme Cajun seasoning (scroll down for recipe)
3 cups fresh shrimp - defrosted, shelled, de-veined and with tails intact
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Pasta water - Bring a large pot of tap water to a rolling boil with 2 tbsp. sea salt.
Shallots - Peel, cut off ends and discard. Halve and thinly slice. Set aside
Red Bell Pepper- Use one half of a large bell pepper. Set the other aside for future use. Remove the top, all seeds and membranes. Halve and thinly slice. Set aside Green onions - Cut and discard root tips. Cut into 1/4" circles and set aside. Use the white parts and green leaves. Shrimp - Place the defrosted, de-veined, shelled shrimp with tails intact, in a mixing bowl. Add 1 tbsp. all purpose flour and 1/2 tbsp. of the whatever whenever rub or Cajun seasoning. Rub all over and set aside. Sausages - Slice into 1/4" thick circles and set aside.
Garlic cloves - Peel, discard the skin. Crush the cloves and chop. Set aside.
Penne Pasta: To the pot of boiling water, add the penne pasta and stir for the first 4-5 minutes constantly to avoid the pasta from sticking together as the starches swell. Cook for 11 minutes. Drain in a colander, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.
Meanwhile, in a sauté pan, add the olive oil. Heat for 30 seconds and add the butter. As soon as it melts, add the shallots, garlic and sliced bell pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes on medium heat till onions and peppers has softened but not browned.
Add the sausages and sauté for another 5 minutes or so until they have slightly browned and curled at the edges. Add the marinated shrimp, tomato paste and whatever whenever rub or Cajun seasoning.
Sauté for about 5 minutes or so on medium-high heat until the prawns just turn pink. Reduce the heat to low and add the heavy cream and pasta water. Stir to combine. Do not allow the sauce to boil.
Add the chopped green onions and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Add the cooked penne pasta. Stir to thoroughly coat the pasta and on medium heat simmer for a few minutes to allow the pasta to warm through.
Garnish with some freshly chopped parsley. Serve immediately by removing to a platter or in individual bowls.
Whatever whenever Rub
1 ½ tbsp. paprika 2 tbsp. brown sugar 1 tbsp. garlic powder 1/2 tbsp. black pepper 1 tbsp. onion powder 1 tbsp. thyme leaves 1 tbsp. oregano leaves
1/2 tbsp. cayenne Pepper 1/2 tbsp. turmeric 1/2 tbsp. cumin powder
1-1/2 tbsp. salt
Preparation: Place all ingredients, one by one in a screw top glass jar or any plastic container with tight lid. Close lid tightly and shake for 30 seconds vigorously to combine all above ingredients in a thoroughly dry airtight container. Store in a dry and cool place.