Who doesn’t like pasta? I mean seriously?
Non pasta lovers must be a minority somewhere, and personally I’m sure they are a really sad lot.
Ok, jokes aside, pasta is one of the easiest recipes we can put together, ‘cuz how hard can it be to boil pasta, right?
The main thing to note as you boil pasta is to add a good amount of salt that flavours the pasta and to ensure the texture is "Al Dante’" meaning firm to the bite. Too soft and mushy means the pasta will loose shape and add zero texture to your meal. Just drain the pasta immediately and drizzle plenty of olive oil over the cooked pasta and it’s done. Some folks even go a step further by adding olive oil to the boiling water or give the pasta an ice bath, but I usually stick to the basic rules. I guess it depends on the kind of pasta you use and it’s wheat base. If the pasta is a glutenfree base, then it’s really important to keep an eye on the pasta as it cooks, since glutenfree pasta tends to over cook really fast.
So let’s head to our recipe now- Cajun Shrimp Spaghetti, it’s a favorite that I serve when I entertain guests at home. It’s also a wonderful one pot meal and so if you want to create a nice Italian brunch or dinner spread you can add a lovely Italian bean salad to this, a roast tomato soup, maybe even a Bruschetta and there you go, it’s a whole entire meal. And don’t forget dessert, for some it’s the highlight of a dinner party isn’t it?
This particular spaghetti dish is so delicious and easy to make. Do give it a try.
1 pack of 450 grams spaghetti (glutenfree or whole wheat, as per your preference)
1 kg shrimp, cleaned, peeled and deveined
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion finely diced (about 1 cup)
4 cloves garlic finely minced
2 green bell peppers, chopped small
2 tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped
2-3 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley or cilantro
Boil the pasta/ spaghetti as per the package instructions and drain it. Pour over some olive oil and fluff the pasta to avoid it sticking together. Make sure you save a cup of the pasta water.
In a large skillet or casserole dish, heat 2 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add a dash of salt to avoid the onions burning. Now add the shrimps and season with salt, pepper and the Cajun spice. Stir it well and add the chopped tomatoes. Cover for 5 minutes for the juices to be released (the tomatoes just need to soften a bit, but ensure they don’t turn mushy). In goes the green bell peppers (they just need to be mildly cooked, semi raw as they add a nice crunch to this).
The last part is adding the pasta water, lemon juice and the pasta to the dish, and mix all of the ingredients well. Shrimps cook really fast, they just need to come to that perfect coral shade and you know it’s done, so be really quick in putting in all the ingredients.
Garnish with parsley or cilantro and serve this one-pot-meal hot with a delicious salad on the side.
Tip: If you don’t have Cajun spice seasoning at home try using paprika powder or cayenne pepper. Even red chilli powder in moderation acts as a good substitute.