A few weeks ago, I was doing prepping in the studio kitchen for a class called “Creative Healthy Cooking” for that evening. On the menu were light, fresh dishes such Creamy Corn Soup, Zucchini “Spaghetti” and Roasted Cauliflower.
The back restaurant kitchen door swings open, out comes one of the restaurant’s cooks with two steaming hot plates of creamy, yummy, pasta. One for him…and one for not me. They sat right in front of me as I was cutting the kernals off the corn cob for the soup. This was their conversation:
“Wow, this creamy pasta is so delicious! What’s in it?”
”A pint of heavy cream”
“Yum! Its so rich and luscious! This is the best pasta I’ve ever had!”
“Duh…there’s a pint of cream in it.”
Focus. Focus. I love corn. I love healthy. Thin feels better than fat tastes. Focus. Be one with the corn. Cream is pure evil.
I. Can’t. Help. Myself. Come. To. The. Fat. Side. Luke. (*@!&$#(!%Y!@!!!
GIMMEE GIMMEE GIMMEE!!! I grabbed the biggest serving spoon and helped myself.
I bribed them with cash not to tell my Creative Healthy Cooking Class students.
Pasta with Cajun Cream Sauce
If I could only choose one creamy pasta sauce, this would be my favorite. What makes this pasta sauce so luscious is (well, ok other than the crème) is one word: reduction.
Reducing a sauce evaporates liquid and concentrates the flavors. This recipes includes two different reductions. When I go out to eat at an Italian restaurant, nothing bugs me more than ordering a crème based sauce and what shows up is so much crème that it feels like I’m drinking the pasta. Because of the reduction in this recipe, the cream just hugs the pasta.
Now, I’m not advocating that you eat like this every day. Sometimes, just sometimes, you need something to soothe your soul A bowl of something to prop on your lap while curled up on the couch watching Grey’s Anatomy.
Plus, if you garnish with something green and healthy like I did, it just might make you feel a little bit better…even if it is only 3 miniscule broccoli florets.
1 pound dry pasta
1 pint heavy crème
2 T olive oil
2 T minced garlic
½ cup chopped onion
1 T Cajun seasoning
1 T Smoked sweet paprika seasoning
2 tsp salt
1 cup white wine
fresh ground pepper
1 T freshly chopped parsley
Parmesan cheese (I personally like Pecorino Romano for this dish)
2 T tomato paste
1 tsp chicken base (optional)
1. In large stockpot, boil water for pasta.
2. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 T olive oil over medium heat. When shimmering, add onions. Fry for 2 minutes. Add garlic, fry additional 1 minute until fragrant. Add the white wine and chicken base (stir chicken base in the wine first & mix well before adding to pan.) Using your spatula, scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Let the wine reduce to half – about 3 minutes. In the meantime, boil your pasta, ending one minute shy of done.
3. Add Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper, paprika and tomato paste. Stir. Add heavy crème. When the crème mixture is almost bubbling, turn heat to low. Let the crème mixture reduce to half – about 5 minutes. Drain the pasta well – add pasta to the crème sauce. Toss with freshly chopped parsley and some Pecorino Romano cheese. Eat. Have seconds.