I am excited to claim full ownership of this one. I mean, I always adapt recipes but this was off the top of my head. What inspired it? The fact that I love spicy food; I don’t cook with Cajun flavours enough; I love shrimp in my pasta and I wanted something less caloric than a shrimp fettuccine alfredo. Pretty deep and inspirational, huh?
Now, I have a taste for spicy foods and an iron stomach so you may want to adjust the heat to this dish to your liking. Really, it depends on your tolerance. I’ve been scolded by friends (LINDSEY, I’M LOOKING AT YOU!) for not putting a disclaimer on my super spicy dishes. All accidental! I don’t realize how hot some of my dishes are because my palate is all Hulk Hogan about things (is that even still a tough reference? Whatever, I’m old). Like, this one time I went to a Halloween party and made a spicy taco dip. To me, the heat was moderate at best – to others, it was as if I’d sprinkled a mix of scorpion peppers and broken glass as a garnish. So dramatic! It was a lame Halloween party anyway. They turned THRILLER off. Like, who does that on Halloween? (Who does that ANY day?)
I digress – irrelevant anecdotes and bitter memories are not what you came here for.
Here is the recipe. I really hope you enjoy it and, if it’s too hot, don’t say you weren’t warned. To me, it’s nothing. A friggin’ baby could eat it.
Spicy Cajun Shrimp Pasta
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil divided
- 350 grams of spaghetti - use your best judgement
- 2 cups of sliced grape tomatoes
- 1 cup of stewed tomatoes
- 2 shallots diced
- 1/2 bell pepper diced (I used green, but you can use any)
- 1 large clove of garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons of chili pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning divided (I use my homemade mix)
- 1 lb of large shrimp uncooked
- 1/4 cup of fresh basil chopped
- Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a saucepan on moderate heat.
- Add the garlic and shallots; simmer for approx. 2-3 minutes, until garlic is fragrant and shallots are translucent (don't brown the garlic).
- Add the grape tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, and bell pepper.
- Sprinkle in the garlic powder, the chili pepper flakes and one tablespoon of Cajun seasoning.
- Mix well.
- Simmer for approx. 10-15 mins. – until the tomatoes are soft and broken down.
- Toss in some chopped fresh basil.
- Transfer the sauce to another pot and cover to keep it warm. Keep the saucepan handy for your shrimp - no need to wash it.
- Start cooking the pasta as per the instructions on the package.
- Peel and devein the shrimp.
- Place the shrimps into a large bowl.
- Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning onto the shrimp and toss to coat.
- In the same saucepan you used for the sauce, add a tablespoon of olive oil and heat over high heat.
- Place your shrimp into the pan. I always place my shrimps in clockwise, and by the time I get back around to the first shrimp I set down, it’s time to flip it. Repeat until the shrimps have turned pink. Don't overcook them, or they will be like rubber erasers.
- Once the shrimp is cooked, transfer your sauce back into the saucepan.
- Drain the pasta, and then toss that into the pan as well.
- Mix until all of your pasta is coated evenly.
- Garnish with some fresh basil, and enjoy!