Thursday, October 8, 2009

some like it hot

Can you believe the only other pasta I've ever made is spaghetti and chicken alfredo? I always drool over pasta plates at Red Lobster and Johnny Carino's SO I decided to try one out at home. While browsing Annie's Eats Blog, I found this beauty. It originally used only chicken but since shrimp is hubby's fave and they were on sale at the grocery store, I figured they would make a great addition ...and I was right!

For those who love cajun-style food and/or SPICE, this pasta should do the definitely cleared me and hubby's sinuses! :) We both REALLY enjoyed it, but agreed next time I should tone down the pepper a bit.

Louisiana Chicken (and shrimp) Pasta
adapted from Annie's Eats

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
~1/2 lb shrimp [I bought a bag of large, frozen, cooked shrimp]
8 oz. bowtie pasta
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup yellow onion

3/4 tsp. kosher salt [I used regular salt]
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pep
per [unless you like a LOT of spice, I highly recommend using only a pinch or none]
1 cup half & half
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. water

3 scallions, chopped

Step 1: Heat a small amount of butter or olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, and a generous sprinkle of cajun seasoning. Add to the skillet and cook until lightly browned and cooked through. Season shrimp and add to skillet until thoroughly heated and curled. Transfer both to plate and set aside.

Step 2: Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain the cooked pasta and set aside.
Step 3: Return the skillet to medium heat and heat the butter and olive oil until the butter has melted. Add the bell peppers and onion to the pan. Mix in the salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and cayenne pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 6-8 minutes. Add the half &
halt and heavy cream to the pan and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water, and add to the skillet once the cream mixture has started to bubble. Allow to cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.
Step 4: When the sauce has thickened add the cooked pa
sta, chicken, and shrimp pieces to the pan. Stir well to combine and cook at medium-low heat just until meat is warmed through. Adjust the amount of Cajun seasoning if necessary to suit your taste. Stir in the scallions. Serve immediately and top with additional Cajun seasoning, if desired.

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