I tried crawfish for the first time three years ago when I found myself back in New Orleans for a travel story. And this was not the first of my foodie experiences while traveling. Tapas in Spain, Fondu in Switzerland, and Gelato in Italy are just some of the many diverse culinary experiences I’ve enjoyed while traveling. Travel and food are so intricately tied that I always build in food experiences into my itinerary. And when I’m not jet-setting across the globe to enjoy french yogurt in Paris, I’m re-creating these experiences in my kitchen. In honor of Mardi Gras, I decided to cook an easy Shrimp Jambalaya Pasta!
Mardi Gras includes a series of events and celebrations beginning on or after Three Kings Day and culminates in the infamous Fat Tuesday. During this time, people often consume rich foods in anticipation of the Lent, which often includes a period of fasting. Celebrations can include parades, masked balls, and other costumed events. And it isn’t Mardi Gras without all of the incredible dishes, some of which originated in New Orleans.
Jambalaya, Crab Cakes, Crawfish Boil, Gumbo, Red Beans, Beignets, and King Cake are signature Mardi Gras dishes. You’ll also find that seafood is widely popular, particularly when prepared with Cajun or Creole seasoning. In honor of our monthly brunch, I decided to make an easy Shrimp Jambalaya Pasta. Traditionally, this dish is made with chicken and sausage, but I omitted the meat in anticipation of Lent and the result was absolutely divine. I prefer a dish that is moderately spicy, but feel free to adjust according to taste.
Shrimp Jambalaya Pasta
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 12 ounces fettuccine
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp white wine
- 2 tsp fresh basil
Make a cajun seasoning blend by combining the white pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder in a small bowl.
Sprinkle one half of the spice blend over the shrimp.
Start your pasta cooking by bringing 5 quarts of water to a boil over high heat.
Add both fettuccine to the hot water, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.
While the pasta cooks, heat 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet over high heat.
Add the shrimp to the pan and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the shrimp from sticking.
When the shrimp have been seared, pour the contents of the pan onto a plate or into a bowl. Do not rinse the pan!
Put the pan back over high heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan.
Add the tomatoes, peppers and onions to the oil. Sprinkle the vegetables with the remaining spice blend and saute' for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables begin to turn dark brown or black.
Add the shrimp to the vegetables and pour 3/4 cup of the vegetable stock in the pan. Cook over high heat until the stock has been reduced to just about nothing.
Add the remaining 3/4 cup of stock to the pan. The liquid should become dark as it deglazes the pan of the dark film left by the spices and food.
Stir constantly, scraping the blackened stuff on the bottom of the pan. Reduce the broth a bit more, then turn the heat down to low.
Combine the flour with the wine in a small bowl. Stir until it is dissolved.
Add this to the pan and simmer over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly. When the pasta is done, drain it and spoon half onto a plate.
Spoon half of the jambalaya over the pasta. Sprinkle half the basil over the top.
Check out our assortment of Mardi Gras recipes and dishes from our latest foodie brunch!
- Crab 🦀 Cakes Leyna’s Kitchen
- Shrimp Boil 🦐 On the Go OC
- Hot Louisiana Shrimp Dip 🍤 Eat Drink OC
- King Cake 👑 🍰 Let’s Play OC
- Shrimp Salad 🥗 Queen Bee Latina
What are your favorite Mardi Gras recipes and dishes? You can also check out my easy King Cake recipe here.