And I have been craving this dish with this pregnancy like woah. The problem is, there is no cheesecake factory where we live.
So I decided to scour the internet for a similar dish. Or a recipe that I could convert into a similar dish.But I couldn't find one that was just right. So I did what any good
I made my own.
Sidenote: food photography isn't as easy as it seems it would be. Props to all my food blogger friends out there who make their meals look sooooo delish.
My favorite thing about this pasta is the contrast in flavors and textures. The crispy Cajun chicken breast, the creamy pasta, the sweet peppers and the tangy Cajun sauce all come together perfectly. Seriously, it's like mardi gras in your mouth. But in a good way.
I'll always have a soft spot in my stomach for The Cheesecake Factory version. But y'all, I think my dish is better. And I know it's cheaper.
Louisiana Cajun Chicken Pasta
For the Chicken:
4 Chicken breasts
1-2 tsps of Cajun seasoning (I used Tony Chachere’s original creole)
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
splash of water
2 Tbls olive oil
For the Pasta:
1 lb penne pasta (or bowtie)
1 Tblsp butter
1 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion- diced
4 garlic cloves- minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 red pepper- chopped
1 yellow pepper- chopped
1 cup chicken stock
2 1/2 cups half & half
1 Tbls Cajun seasoning
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil- julienned
Salt & Pepper to taste
Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta.
Pound the chicken breasts into thin chicken cutlets. Season both sides with the Cajun seasoning (use as you would normally use salt and pepper.) Beat egg and water in a shallow dish. On a separate plate combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
Heat a large saute pan to med-high. Melt the butter and olive oil. When butter melts add onion, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Saute for 2-3 mins. Add the chopped peppers and saute for 5 mins. Whisk in the broth and half & half and bring to a bubble. Add Cajun seasoning and reduce heat to simmer.
Cook Pasta according to the package.
Heat a second skillet with olive oil. Coat chicken cutlets in the egg then breadcrumb mixture then add to pan. Saute until cooked through and golden brown, about 3-4 mins on each side.
Add Parmesan cheese and Basil to the sauce. Drain the pasta and combine with the sauce. Season to taste with salt and (lots of!) pepper.
To serve: Plate the pasta and top with chicken cutlets. Serve topped Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!