Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Cajun Shrimp – Smokey, Sweet, Creamy with a just a little Spice!
Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Cajun Shrimp has all of the sweet and smoky flavor of roasted red peppers and roasted garlic with a touch of cream and spice. The simple sauce is topped with sauteed, Cajun-spiced shrimp and served over a bed of fettuccine with a garnish of fresh parsley and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
This scrumptious pasta dish is the result of one of those ‘Holy Cow….I’m at the grocery store at 2pm and I have no idea what we are having for dinner’ kind of days. I had red peppers from the farmers market in the fridge. If I’m roasting peppers, might as well add a head of garlic. Those guys go together like peas and carrots. But wait, my hubby is a total carnivore. Chicken or shrimp? Shrimp was first at the grocery store. Need a little spice to go with the smokey-sweet flavors, so Cajun seasonings. Add pasta…..Presto! Dinner is served!
This is a pretty quick and easy weeknight meal, but it is seriously impressive enough for company. For a crowd, the sauce and shrimp can easily be doubled, and if the veggies are prepped ahead of time, this comes together very quickly. I might mention that both my husband and I traded in our forks for spoons at the end of the meal to get the last of this sauce from our bowls. And you know its a winner if the kids ask for seconds.
Begin by roasting the red peppers and a head of garlic in the oven. The already roasted, store bought versions will work, but the do-it-yourself version is defiantly superior in flavor and so simple to do.
While the red peppers and garlic are roasting, mix raw, peeled and deviened shrimp in a bowl with olive oil, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, and pepper and let it marinate for 20 minutes. Ancho or chipotle chili powder and smoked paprika are a definite plus to this dish if you have them, but regular will work.
After the peppers and garlic are roasted, peel and roughly chop them. Dice an onion and chop some fresh parsley.
Saute the shrimp in an hot fry pan with a little olive oil and a little butter for 4-5 minutes. The most important part of this meal is to make sure to not overcook the shrimp. As soon as they are no longer translucent, they are done. Overcooked shrimp tends to be rubbery and tough.
Remove the shrimp to a bowl. Add another small amount of olive oil and butter to the pan. Saute the onion with a pinch of salt and pepper for about 5 minutes until it starts to brown. Add a few crushed red pepper flakes, the roasted red pepper, and the roasted garlic.
Stir in white wine and bring up to a gentle simmer and reduce for a few minutes. Add chicken stock and cream or half and half and again bring to a simmer.
Remove the sauce from the heat and puree/pulse. This may be done with an immersion hand blender or in the blender. Below are the two that I use.
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This is not meant to be a perfectly smooth sauce. Some texture is desired while still pureeing the vegetables to the desired consistency. Stir in the majority of the chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, reserving a little to use as a garnish.
Either stir the cooked fettuccine into the sauce or serve the sauce on top of it. Top the sauce with the sauteed shrimp. Garnish with parsley and fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
Try serving this with Roasted Asparagus and the dry white wine used in the sauce.
If you enjoyed my Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Cajun Shrimp, leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Cajun Shrimp
Roasted Red Peppers
- 2 red peppers roasted roughly chopped See link in Recipe Notes
- 1 head garlic roasted removed from outer skins See link in Recipe Notes
- 24 ounces peeled and deviened raw shrimp medium or large
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil - divided 2 T for marinade and 1 T to saute the shrimp
- 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder preferably ancho or chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika preferably smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt - to be added with cooking
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3/4 cup diced onion
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes add additional pepper flakes if desired.
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 3/4 cup cream or half and half
- 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf italian parsley
- grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
- 12 ounces Fettuccine cooked to package directions
- Mix the raw, peeled and deviened shrimp in a medium mixing bowl with the olive oil, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, and pepper and let it marinate for 20 minutes.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a medium hot fry pan until butter foams.
- Add shrimp in a single layer to the hot pan. Sprinkle with salt and saute, flipping once. Cook the shrimp JUST until they are no longer opaque and remove to a bowl.
- After removing the shrimp from the fry pan, add an additional tablespoon of olive oil and butter and return to a medium temperature. When butter begins to foam add the onion and a sprinkle of salt.
- Saute the onions for about 5 minutes until they are soft and begin to brown.
- Add a the crushed red pepper flakes, the roasted red pepper, and the roasted garlic and cook for about 1 minute until the crushed red pepper becomes fragrant.
- Stir in the white wine and bring up to a gentle simmer and let it reduce by a third to a half for 3-5 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and the cream or half and half and again bring to a gentle simmer.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and puree/pulse. This may be done with an immersion hand blender or in the traditional blender. The sauce does not need to be perfectly smooth. Some texture is desired while still pureeing the vegetables to the desired consistency.
- Stir in the majority of the chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, reserving a little to use as a garnish. Taste the sauce to check if additional salt is desired.
- Either stir in the cooked pasta with the sauce or top the pasta with the sauce. Serve the shrimp on top and garnish with the remaining parsley and fresh grated Parmesan cheese.