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Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Pasta (Pasta birthday week pt 4/7)

Creamy, earthy, spicy, and a punch of Cajun flavor. This recipe was inspired by pasta dishes that TGI Fridays used to have and Cheesecake factory still does but with my own flair and ideas. We both love mushrooms so we use plenty in this dish.

1 lb pasta (I like farfalle/bowties but used penne this time which was good), cook and strain (reserving some liquid)

1 Large onion, diced

2 Bell peppers, diced

2 lbs hot Italian sausage

1 lb baby bella mushrooms, chopped (We like them better than white/button mushrooms)

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb med-lrg shrimp

1 cup heavy cream

2 tsp celery salt

2 Tbsp Cajun seasoning

1/2 tsp cayenne

2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp salt

6 oz parmesan cheese

Sautee onion and peppers, with a pinch of your seasoning mix, in a large pan with canola oil until softened. Remove from pan and set aside. Add sausage and another pinch of seasoning to pan and brown. When it is about 90% browned add your garlic and finish browning. To the pan add back in your peppers and onions and throw in the mushrooms. Cook down for about 10 minutes until mushrooms are nice and soft before you add your cream. Now the rest of your seasoning goes in and allow to simmer about 15 minutes.

Fold in all of your parmesan cheese and then stir in pasta. Add a scoop of pasta water if desired, cook another 10 min, and serve topped with a bit more parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.

More thoughts:

  1. Topping with sliced scallions before serving would add a nice fresh, oniony, flavor

  2. To go even more Cajun, consider a swap out for andouille sausage vs the Italian sausage I used (or swap half of the sausage)

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