Creamy Cajun Pasta Sauce
This recipe for Creamy Cajun Pasta Sauce is from Brian, who hails from New Orleans. He was a line cook at a popular restaurant and cooking school in Sarasota, Florida, where I used to teach cooking classes. In the late afternoons, after spending hours prepping ingredients for that evening’s service, Brian would make this Creamy Cajun Sauce, and toss with whatever pasta he had in the kitchen pantry. In the lull between 4pm and 5pm, when all the prep work was complete, and when the first customers arrive, this was Brian’s indulgent treat.
It’s not the healthiest recipe, in fact, the reason it’s so delicious is because there’s full-fat cream in the recipe (and a lot of it!)
What makes this pasta sauce so luscious is (well, ok other than the cream) is one word: reduction. Reducing a sauce evaporates liquid and concentrates the flavors. This recipes includes two different reductions. When I go out to eat at an Italian restaurant, nothing bugs me more than ordering a cream based sauce and what shows up is so much cream that it feels like I’m drinking the pasta. Because of the reduction in this recipe, the cream just hugs the pasta. Now, I’m not advocating that you eat like this every day.
Sometimes, just sometimes, you need something to soothe your soul, a bowl of something to prop on your lap while curled up on the couch watching Grey’s Anatomy. Plus, if you garnish with something green and healthy like I did, it just might make you feel a little bit better…even if it is only 3 miniscule broccoli florets.
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- 1 pound dry pasta
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon cajun or creole seasoning
- 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
In large stockpot, boil salted water for pasta. Cook pasta 1 minute shy of package instructions. Drain pasta. (You can cook the Creamy Cajun Sauce while the pasta boils.)
In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. When shimmering, add onions. Cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic, cook additional 30 seconds until fragrant.
Add the white wine. Let the wine reduce to half – about 3 minutes.
Add cajun seasoning, salt, paprika and tomato paste. Stir.
Add heavy cream. When the cream mixture is almost bubbling, turn heat to low. Let the cream mixture reduce to half – about 2 minutes. Add the pasta to the cream sauce and cook additional minute. Toss with freshly chopped parsley and parmesan cheese.