Classic Cajun flavors–the smoky, spicy seasoning, sweet shrimp, and onion, green bell pepper, and celery trinity–give this pasta toss a New Orleans vibe. A jolt of ground red pepper spices things up nicely, while creamy half-and-half smooths out the edges.
- Yield Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)
- 6 ounces whole-grain linguine or fettuccine
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt-free Cajun seasoning (such as Tony Chachere’s)
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
- 3/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/3 cup pasta cooking liquid.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Combine Cajun seasoning and shrimp in a medium bowl, toss to coat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan, swirl to coat. Add shrimp mixture to pan, cook 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are done. Remove shrimp mixture from pan. Wipe pan clean with paper towels.
- Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan, swirl. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and 1 tablespoon thyme, cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add red pepper and garlic, cook 3 minutes. Add reserved 1/3 cup cooking liquid, salt, bay leaves, and tomatoes, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until thickened. Discard bay leaves. Remove pan from heat, stir in shrimp and pasta. Stir in half-and-half. Cook 1 minute over medium heat or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme.