Cajun shrimp pasta
For New Year’s Eve 2012, a bunch of us got together and ate, drank, and played games. Katie made a delicious and spicy cajun shrimp appetizer. I immediately asked for the recipe and thought about how I could incorporate this into a pasta. It took me a couple of weeks, but I finally got around to cranking this out and it turned out really well.

The beauty is that the recipe comes together quick enough for a weeknight. I put one pot of water on to boil for the pasta, while cooking the rest of the ingredients. My shrimp were frozen, so I dumped them into some cold water to quick thaw. Peeled, raw shrimp are one of my favorite fast proteins because they thaw into 10-20 minutes and cook in less than ten minutes. Cooking your own shrimp will almost always result in a better meal – your shrimp will have a better final texture and flavor, so give it a try.

From start to finish this took less than 30 minutes, and served with a side salad and a hunk of fresh baguette it makes for a great complete meal (the baguette above was my first attempt making the baguettes from Jim Lahey’s book, My Bread). I don’t give exact measurements for the pasta because some people have strong feelings about how much pasta they want in a meal. My rule of thumb is about 2 ounces of dry pasta per person.


Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Serves 2
2 Tbs butter
1 clove garlic, smashed and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4-5 green onions, sliced into thin rounds
1 lb raw, peeled shrimp
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
wide egg noodles or spaghetti (enough for two people)

Put the butter in your skillet over medium heat until melted and then add the garlic. Stir and cook for about 1 minute and then add the rest of the spices. Stir and cook for about another minute and then add the bell pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes until the bell starts to soften a little and then add the green onion.

Toss to mix well and then add the shrimp. Stir occasionally and cook for about 5 minutes. When the shrimp is almost done (turned pink and curled a little), add the lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Mix the shrimp and sauce well. Drain the cooked pasta and toss it in the skillet, and turn off the heat. Stir to mix well and coat the noodles with the sauce.

Divide the pasta between two plates. You could garnish it with either chopped fresh parsley or cilantro.