Aug 9, 2011

shrimp and tasso pasta

If you are a Cajun food purist, close your eyes.
Stick your fingers in your ears.
La la la.  Can't hear me.
Run away if you feel the need.

That'll just leave more for me.

This week, it's pasta with a decadent, creamy sauce.
Pasta and creamy sauces are relatively new to Cajun cuisine--maybe since around the early to mid 80s.  And "Cajun" dishes made with pasta and cream sauces are really restaurant inventions.  I get it.  You can only eat so much rice!

I'm serving up this pasta with a creamy shrimp and tasso (tah-so) sauce. 
The Husband said he could've eaten the sauce as a soup.

Tasso with shrimp is a beautiful thing.  They go well together in jambalaya, in shrimp & grits, on pizza, in omelettes, over pasta.... 

Tasso is highly seasoned, highly smoked pork. 

It's usually diced and added to many Cajun dishes as a seasoning.

Tasso may be hard to find outside of South Louisiana. carries several brands and ships all over the United States. 
(I'm not being paid or compensated in any way--Cajun Grocer has no clue I exist.) 

Mise en place for Shrimp & Tasso Pasta:
Olive oil and butter in which to cook The Trinity + garlic,
diced tasso,
salt, pepper, Tony's (another Trinity?), dried basil & oregano,
flour for thickening
shrimp stock, evaporated milk and cream
cooked pasta
green onions, 1 small red &
1 small yellow tomato for garnish (optional)
I am thinking of turning this into
Creamy Shrimp & Tasso Soup

The shrimp stock really added a lot of flavor to the sauce. 
Save your shells in the freezer and make a batch!

After tossing everything together, I decided that it was mighty pale.
Grabbed some green onion and
a red and a yellow tomato from the garden...

And totally overdid it.
Overdid it on eating too!
Ca c'est bon!

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Shrimp & Tasso Pasta
from Ms. enPlace

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
about 1 cup diced tasso
1 small onion, finely chopped
1-2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 small bell pepper, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
salt, pepper, and Tony's, to taste
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup shrimp stock
6 oz heavy cream
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk, divided
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
3/4 lb pasta, cooked by package directions
green onion and chopped tomatoes for garnish

Saute the tasso in the oil and butter until browned.  Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper and saute until softened.  Add the garlic, salt, pepper, Tony's, basil, and oregano and saute a few minutes longer.  Sprinkle the flour over the seasoning mixture and stir, cooking for a couple of minutes.

Stir while slowly adding the shrimp stock, cream, and 6 oz of evaporated milk.  Keep the rest of the evaporated milk for thinning out the sauce as it simmers.

Simmer the sauce for about 15 minutes.  After simmering, if the sauce is too thick, add more evaporated milk to get the consistency you'd like.  Add the shrimp and any juices to the pan and cook until the shrimp are no longer pink.  Toss with cooked pasta.  Garnish with chopped green onion and tomatoes. 

It's been a long time since I've linked with Presto Pasta Nights. It's time!

This week's edition is hosted by Simona of Briciole

Also linking with:
Make a Food-"e"-Friend Monday @ The Saturday Evening Pot
Tuesdays at the Table @ All The Small Stuff
Tasty Tuesday @ Naptime Creations
Hearth and Soul vol 60 @ Mom's Sunday Cafe
Delectable Tuesday @ Home Sweet Farm
Made it on Monday #21 @ Lark's Country Heart
Turning the Table Thursday @ Around My Family Table
What's Cooking Thursday @ Feeding Four
Potluck Friday @ EKat's Kitchen
Foodie Friday @ Little Brick Ranch
Fresh Food Friday @ la bella vita
Friday Food @ Mom Trends
Simply Delish @ KB & Whitesnakes Home


  1. Anonymous8/09/2011

    Its about 9 am here and Im terribly hungry.Seeing your pasta dish is such a temptation...I wish to have is so gorgeously good!

  2. This looks absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for the link to the Cajun Grocer. Now that we've moved to NH, we are sadly lacking in tasso and andouille. You have made my hubby EXTREMELY happy. :)

  3. Loved your intro! I always feel like I need to apologize when something isn't 100% authentic, but the great thing about living here is we get to take ideas from so many different sources and combine them to make our own unique recipes. Your pasta dish looks amazing! Thanks for sharing it with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

  4. It looks a decadent shrimp carbonara! I need to find some tasso...

  5. Looks sinfully delicious and perfect! Love the sauce and I can only imagine how good this is with the tasso. Thanks for the great recipe, cher!

  6. How interesting! I had not heard about tasso before. I wonder where the name comes from. The result is a beautiful pasta dish, and that's what counts. Thank you for contributing it to Presto Pasta Nights.

  7. I've never heard of Tasso before.
    Thank you so much for sharing this I hope I can find the tasso here in Nevada! :)

  8. This looks like a delicious summertime pasta! Thanks for sharing, can't wait to try it out :D

  9. Yum! I lived in Louisiana for 17 years, and am re-living the matchless cuisine vicariously through these photos!

  10. My mouth is watering!!! YUM!! I am a Cajun and have yet to cook with Tasso, but you have now inspired me.... I'm off to Rouse's to get groceries!!! Thanks!

  11. What fantastic flavours you have used in this dish - and I just love pasta! Thank you so much for sharing this post with the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop!

  12. This looks so good! I love shrimp, I love pasta, I love cream....what else is there to say.

    I'm thinking we need to do a Christmas box send me a box of your favorite cajun stuff and I'll send you a box of my favorite Mexican stuff. LOL!

    Around My Family Table

  13. oh yeah, this is my kind of filling my plate goodness, I knew with out the added color it was gonna be tasty, the color I'm sure added more flavor and crunch...

  14. Looks delish.

    Thanks for sharing your recipes with us at
    Simply Delish Saturday

  15. Oh baby, you had me at shrimp! But combining my love of pasta...yep...need directions to your house!!


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