Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Homemade Cajun Chicken Pasta

2016-05-27 18.01.49

Here in Florida, we have a popular restaurant/bar that serves Homemade Cajun Chicken Pasta. Every time we go that’s what I order. I just love it so much I needed to recreate it at home.

I will say, a good bit of butter goes into making of this dish, but that’s part of the reason it’s so delicious. I think once and a while it’s alright to indulge in a rich and decadent dish!

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Chicken Broth

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Thyme

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diced roma tomatoes

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: cast iron skillet and a deep-sided frying pan, 6-quart saucepot, whisk, large mixing bowl. 1-gallon zip-lock plastic bag, Microplane

Ingredients:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 pounds (1 1/2 boxes) of linguine
1 pint of white button mushrooms, sliced
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 shallot, finely minced
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 cup of dry white wine
6 tablespoons of olive oil
8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
4 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons of sweet paprika
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of chicken broth, unsalted
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (reserve 1/2 cup for garnishing each serving)
Italian flat-leaf parsley for garnish, finely chopped

Directions:
Place 4 boneless skinless chicken breast, that’s been patted dry, in a large resealable plastic bag. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning, 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika. Let all the air out of the bag and seal it up. Using your hands, massage the chicken so all the seasoning coats the chicken. Set aside.

In a cast-iron skillet over medium melt 2 tablespoons each of butter and olive oil. Add the minced shallot, sliced mushrooms, and dried thyme. Cook the mushrooms and shallots for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the mushrooms have released all their water and become brown. Next, add the minced garlic, stirring, continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Add the white wine and simmer until all the liquid has evaporated. This process should take another 7 to 10 minutes.

While the mushrooms are simmering seed and dice 4 plum tomatoes. Transfer the diced tomatoes to a large mixing bowl. Add the sautéed mushrooms and shallot mixture and fresh thyme leaves to the same bowl, mix to combine.

Using the same skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons each of butter olive oil. Let the butter melt moving the butter and oil around in the skillet to coat the entire bottom. Next, place the 4 seasoned chicken breast into the skillet. Cook the chicken breasts for 5 to 7 minutes per side until almost tender. Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate. Set aside.

Have a large pot of boiling salted water ready for the pasta. While that’s happening, thinly slice the chicken breasts on the bias. Transfer back to the plate.

In a deep-sided frying pan with a lid, start the sauce. On medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter (this may seem like a large amount of butter, but there is a lot of pasta and it needs to be coated really well with butter) along with 2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning and 1 tablespoon sweet paprika. Add 1/2 a cup of unsalted chicken broth. Let this come to a bubble. Reduce the heat to medium-low and pour in 1/4 cup of heavy cream, whisk to combine. Add the sliced chicken into the sauce. Over medium-low heat simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Drop the pasta and cook until just al dente.

Once the pasta reaches the al dente stage, using a pair of tongs, transfer the linguine to the deep-sided frying pan with 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese. Turn the heat off and toss together until all the pasta is coated and the chicken is mixed through. The pasta will quickly absorb the sauce.

Serve my Homemade Cajun Chicken Pasta in a porcelain pasta bowl. Garnish with fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley and another sprinkling of the Parmesan cheese. If the dish is not being served immediately cover with a lid.

 

 

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Shrimp Scampi Over Linguine

2016-04-14 16.02.45

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Talk about a quick and fast cooking pasta dish, my Shrimp Scampi Over Linguine is fast and easy to make. Now there is a little bit of prep time in preparing the shrimp, but it’s super easy. You can prep the shrimp in advance and keep them on ice, in the frig, until your ready to make the dish.

When you go to buy your shrimp, you’ll see numbers like 16 to 20 count. This just means there are about 16 to 20 in a pound. As you can see they’re a nice large shrimp for this dish.

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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shallots

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Olive Oil

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 12-inch sauté pan, colander, 6-quart saucepot, Microplane

Ingredients:
2 pounds of large shrimp (about 32 shrimp) peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt plus 2 teaspoons
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons of butter, unsalted
4 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons (8 cloves) of garlic, minced
1 Fresno chili, seeded and finely minced
1/2 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 lemons, 1 zested, 1 thinly sliced into rounds
1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 juicy lemons)

Directions:
Start by prepping the shrimp for the recipe. Once shrimp are prepped, place a large pot on the stove filled with water. When the water is at a fast boil, add 2 heaping tablespoons of Kosher salt. Add the linguine and cook for 7 to 10 minutes until al dente.

In a large sauté pan melt butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and Fresno chili for 1 minute.

Note: You want to be careful not to burn the garlic.

Add the shrimp to the pan, with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Stir frequently until shrimp turn pink, about 5 minutes.

Note:  A good rule to follow is the shrimp are done when they are in the shape of the letter “C”. If they’re curled up forming the shape of an “O” they are overcooked.

Note:  The pasta will absorb most of the garlic butter sauce. It’s a good idea to reserve a 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta cooking liquid to thin out the sauce if needed.

Remove the pan from the heat, add chopped parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon slices.

When linguine is done, drain, transfer to a large serving bowl. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce over the pasta. Toss to combine and serve. There you have it my Shrimp Scampi Over Linguine.

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Paglia e Fieno

2014-10-04 18.01.09

Better known as Straw and Hay, Paglia e Fieno is a pasta dish for the record books. The spinach pasta mixed in with the standard semolina white-colored pasta makes for a beautiful dish.

What makes this dish so delicious is the crunchy salty bite of the Prosciutto with the creaminess of the sauce. Let’s start with the Prosciutto.

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I’m using Bavette-style pasta which is a different name for a style of Linguine.

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Onions

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Olive Oil

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Mascarpone Cheese

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 26 minutes
Total Time: 31 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: large deep-sided frying pan (rondeau), 6-quart saucepot, tongs

Ingredients:
1/2 pound of linguine
1/2 pound of spinach linguine
4 slices of Proscuitto, julienned
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter, unsalted
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
1 cup of heavy cream
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 (8-ounce) container of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
1 cup of frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Directions:
Start by rolling up the Prosciutto like a cigar, then slicing it into very thin strips or julienne. To a large cold sauté pan add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the sliced Proscuitto. Turn the heat to medium and start rendering the fat from the Prosciutto by allowing the sliced Proscuitto to cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until it becomes nice and crisp. Using a slotted spoon transfer to crispy Proscuitto to a plate lined with a paper towel, set aside.

In the sauté pan with the drippings from the Prosciutto melt 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Add the diced onion, diced, stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent. Add minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, stir to combine, cook for 1 minute more. Next, add the heavy cream, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper, stir to combine.

On the back burner, have a large pot of salted boiling water ready.

Reduce the heat to medium-low add the softened mascarpone cheese. Stir until the cheese melts. Continue to cook and stir until the sauce thickens 3 to 5 minutes.

Drop the pasta and stir. Add the thawed peas to the sauce, stir the peas into the sauce. Turn the heat off, before adding the Italian flat-leaf parsley and Pecorino Romano cheese, stir to combine.

In a large pot of boiling salted water drop the pasta. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Using a pair of tongs, transfer the pasta directly into the cream sauce. Gently stir the pasta through.

Ladle a good helping of pasta into a porcelain serving bowl. Top with a garnish of the crunchy Prosciutto and a sprinkling of Pecorino Romano. There you have it, Paglia e Fieno, a traditional Italian pasta dish.

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