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If there’s one pantry item we always keep in-stock, it’s pasta. From a quick meal cobbled together from rigatoni and a jar of marinara, to cold sesame noodles made with angel hair pasta, there’s just so much you can do with some dried noodles. Valerie Bertinelli, author of Valerie’s Home Cooking, knows just what we mean. In the past, she’s shared pasta recipes like angel hair with fresh tomato sauce, and her stovetop mac and cheese has become a family favorite. So when we saw Bertinelli’s creamy Cajun fettucine alfredo recipe, we knew we’d have to try it.
If you like the Cheesecake Factory’s legendary Cajun Jambalaya Pasta, then you’ll love this recipe from Valerie Bertinelli. But it’s so much more affordable when you make a meal like this at home. Bertinelli’s is suprisingly easy to make, and goes from stove to table in just 20 minutes.
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While the pasta cooks, Bertinelli crisps up some andouille sausage rounds. Andouille is a Cajun sausage popular in Louisiana, seasoned with garlic, onions, and plenty of spices. It’s just what a heavy dish like fettucine alfredo needs, with the bold flavors of the sausage cutting through the rich creamy sauce.
Along with the sausage, Bertinelli cooks scallions, celery, and bell pepper in the pan. The veggies soak up tons of flavor from sizzling in the rendered sausage drippings, and a dose of Cajun seasoning adds even more boldness to the skillet. Last but not least, heavy cream is added, simmering briefly until the sauce is thickened.
Bertinelli adds her cooked fettucine directly from the pot into the skillet full of cream sauce. The extra starchy pasta water that drips from the noodles helps thicken and emulsify the sauce, so it clings to each bite. While the pasta and sauce are being tossed together, Bertinelli showers them with grated Parmesan.
The end result is a pasta dish that tastes like it was made at a restaurant, but that’s really ready at home in less than 30 minutes. The creamy, cheesy pasta has a satisfying kick thanks to the spicy andouille, and plenty of flavor thanks to the aromatics and Cajun spice. We have a feeling this is one recipe you’ll get requests for again and again.
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