Mardi Gras, French for “Fat Tuesday,” is noted for its riotous parades, vibrant masks, and lively music. Just like the festival, Mardi Gras Pasta is a fun-filled and flavourful experience that brings together an explosion of colors and tastes and culminates in a dish that is quintessentially celebratory.
When I first tried this dish, it was love at first bite; I was instantly captivated by how each ingredient, each spice, each colorful vegetable impersonated the spirit of Mardi Gras – eccentric yet harmonious. I knew then I had to share this recipe with all of you who yearn to bring a bit of that Mardi Gras magic into your kitchens.
This recipe isn’t about just feeding your tummy; it’s about feeding your soul. It’s about celebrating life’s simple pleasures over a hearty meal. Whether you want to celebrate Mardi Gras at home or just yearn for a meal that is comforting, flavorful, and yet easy to prepare, this Pasta recipe is going to be your new favorite.
How to make Mardi Gras Pasta
In the spirit of the festival, Mardi Gras Pasta perfectly marries a colorful medley of hearty ingredients, creating a dish that is as pleasing to the palate as it is to the eyes.
- 1 lb linguine pasta
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 bell pepper, diced (for an added pop of color, you can use a mix of red, yellow, and green bell peppers)
- 1 medium-sized onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup of cooked Italian sausage, thinly sliced
- 1 cup of cooked chicken breasts, sliced
- 1/2 lb of precooked shrimp
- 1 teaspoon each of dried thyme, oregano, and paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup of chicken broth
- 1/4 cup of heavy cream (optional)
- 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan
- Freshly chopped parsley for garnish
Step 1: Prepare Pasta and Set Aside
Cook the linguine according to package directions till al dente, drain, rinse under cold water and set aside.
Step 2: Saute Veggies
In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Stir and cook until they start to soften.
Step 3: Add Proteins
Add chicken and sausage and cook until they are slightly browned and heated through. Stir in the shrimp and cook until pink on both sides.
Step 4: Combine Ingredients
To the pan, add the diced tomatoes, cooked pasta, and chicken broth. Stir well to combine—season with dried thyme, oregano, and paprika. Stir again, mixing the spices evenly throughout the pasta and meat. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper.
Step 5: Finish it Up
For a creamier dish, stir in heavy cream and let the mixture heat through. Top the pasta with grated Parmesan and freshly chopped parsley before serving.
Tips for the Perfect Mardi Gras Pasta
- Add a Cajun twist: For a spicier version, you can add a teaspoon of Cajun spice to give your Mardi Gras Pasta an extra kick.
- The perfect pasta: To achieve the perfect al dente pasta, avoid overcooking it in the first step as it will continue to cook as you mix it with other ingredients.
- Feel free to mix up the proteins: The beauty of Mardi Gras Pasta is its versatility. If you are a vegetarian, simply replace the meats with mushrooms or tofu.
- Low-fat version: To lower the calorie count, you can replace the heavy cream with Greek yogurt or cream cheese.
What to serve with
Mardi Gras Pasta is a delightfully rich and delicious meal by itself, but a variety of other dishes can also complement it. Here are some suggestions:
An always-popular option is garlic bread. Its crispy texture and garlic flavor make it a perfect complement to the creaminess of the pasta.
Another good pairing would be cornbread. It brings a Southern twist to the meal, reflecting the New Orleans origin of Mardi Gras.
- Caesar Salad
A Caesar salad’s crunchy freshness can perfectly offset the richness of Mardi Gras pasta.
- Garden Salad
A garden salad with mixed greens and a light vinaigrette would also help balance the flavors.
3. Main Dishes:
- Grilled Chicken
Mardi Gras Pasta often includes a protein like shrimp or crawfish, but you can complement it with some simple grilled chicken on the side.
A nicely cooked steak could also partner well with the pasta. Keep the seasoning simple to let the pasta shine.
- Roasted Asparagus
A side of roasted asparagus or other green vegetables would add a nice color to the plate and complement the pasta’s flavors.
To further infuse your meal with Southern charm, consider serving coleslaw on the side.
- White Wine
A chilled white wine, especially a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, would complement the creaminess of the pasta.
- Mardi Gras Punch
Try a fruity Mardi Gras punch; they are vibrant in color and often both sweet and tangy, a great match.
This recipe for Mardi Gras pasta is not only simple and delicious, but it can also be easily adjusted to serve more or less people. Now, you can add the usual chicken if you’d like, but this recipe is actually vegetarian-friendly as well. Enjoy!
More Pasta Recipes:
- Tortellacci Recipe
- Mike’s Farm Mac And Cheese Recipe
- Mafaldine Pasta With Napoletana Sauce Recipe
- Buffalo Wild Wings Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta
- Best Pepper Jack Mac And Cheese Recipe