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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cajun Comfort Pasta...Mmmmm!

Given the unending barrage of snow we've been having lately, I felt the need to pull out one of my all time favorite pasta recipes for a little yummy numminess! Comfort food at its finest, this is my take on Cheesecake Factory's scrumptious Cajun Jambalaya Pasta.


2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp quality olive oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bit-size pieces
6-8 oz. peeled and deveined shrimp
Cajun spice blend to taste (you can buy a pre-made blend in the spice section of your favorite grocery store or make your own)
1 each medium red, yellow, and green pepper cut into strips
1 medium sweet onion cut into strips
1 Tbsp blanched, minced garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt
pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp dried chili pepper
3-4 med-lg Roma tomatoes, petite diced
2 cups chicken or seafood stock (preferable to broth)
1 lb. linguini or other pasta of choice
1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley

Place chicken in a clean mixing bowl and combine with cajun seasoning. Toss evenly to coat (I prefer to use my hands to achieve a good even coating). Let stand 15-30 min if time permits. Heat butter and olive oil in a large saute pan (can use all olive oil if preferred, but it's soooo yummy with the butter!). Add chicken and saute until half done. Add peppers, onions, and shrimp if raw (wait until the end to add the shrimp if pre-cooked). Cook until shrimp are half done or veggies begin to wilt (if adding shrimp at the end). Add garlic, salt, pepper, Old Bay, dried chili pepper, and a bit more of the cajun spice to taste.

Add diced tomatoes and stock to the pan and stir gently until combined. Continue to cook until chicken and shrimp are done and veggies are tender. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley.

Prepare pasta. You can place pasta into serving bowls and spoon the jambalaya mixture over top; however, I prefer to combine everything in one pan and let the pasta absorb some of the yummy juices of the sauce for about 15 minutes.

This is a wonderfully easy dish that tastes even better the second day...Enjoy!


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