Monday, February 22, 2016

Dairy-Free Creamy Cajun Alfredo Pasta Bake

Every once in awhile, I find myself falling back into the warm comfort of pasta. I don't eat pasta often, but when I do, I find myself just eating the real thing. Spaghetti squash is great and everything, but nothing beats the chewy soft texture of pasta. Thank goodness for brown rice pasta! This sauce is made dairy free by using cauliflower. It's as easy as a quick saute and then a puree. It's great to hide those veggies for the little kidos who might be a little picky. 

Dairy Free Creamy Cajun Alfredo Pasta Bake

What you'll need:

  • 1lb brown rice pasta
  • 1/2 lb andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 lb large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp Cajun Seasoning (I used FlavorGod Cajun seasoning)
  • fresh cracked black pepper

For the sauce

  • 5-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cauliflower head, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock (homemade preferred)
  • 3 roasted red peppers, roughly chopped
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 3 tbsp Cajun seasoning (I used FlavorGod Cajun seasoning)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and black pepper to taste

What to do:

  1. Prepare the cauliflower for the sauce by removing the green stems and roughly chopping into manageable chunks. Process in a food processor until the size of a grain of rice, one head of cauliflower should yield about 4 cups. Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat with one tablespoon of oil. Saute 1/2 the amount of minced garlic until fragrant. Add the riced cauliflower to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes. Season with garlic powder. Add 1.5 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once boiled, turn heat down to medium low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, pour into a high powdered blender and puree until smooth. Set aside. 
  2. In a separate pan, saute the minced shallot and remaining garlic until fragrant. Add 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning to the shallot/garlic mixture, stir to coat. Add the roasted red pepper to a blender, along with the sauteed shallot/garlic mixture, tomato paste, and remaining 2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning. Puree until smooth. 
  3. Combine the cauliflower puree and roasted red pepper puree into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Sauce can be made a day in advance, makes about 4 cups. 
  4. Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare pasta, boil for 5-7 minutes and drain. Set aside. Saute the onion, garlic, and shallot in a pan until fragrant. Add the sausage, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the shrimp, juice from 1/2 lemon, Cajun seasoning, dried parsley, and pepper. Stir and cook until most of the shrimp has turned pink.
  5. In a 9x13 inch baking dish, layer the bottom of the dish with about 1/4 cup of the cauliflower/red pepper sauce. Toss the pasta and the shrimp/sausage mixture. Add 1 cup of sauce and toss to coat. Bake at 375F for 30 minutes. Then broil for 5 minutes.  

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