Homemade is Better—Cajun Sausage and Shrimp with Capellinni

Homemade is Better—Cajun Sausage and Shrimp with Capellinni

I was watching a video where the cook made gumbo, and I was curious about making a dish that used gumbo ingredients but was more of a cream sauce over Capellini.  I grabbed some Italian sausage from the grocery store, then some shrimp, and the next thing I knew, I had most of the gumbo ingredients.

I made some liberal adjustments to a basic gumbo recipe.  For instance, you’ll see that I used red peppers rather than green ones.  I also neglected to thicken with a roux.  A good gumbo requires a brick-red coloured roux.  This is more difficult to achieve on the stovetop, as it quickly goes from dark brown to black.  Alton Brown’s Good Eats addressed this issue by baking the roux.  I decided to use cream rather than thickening it with flour and butter.  I also used a newer ingredient, Old Bay.  I bought it to make one of Alton’s recipes, which I can’t recall now, but I figured I should try to use it since I bought it.

You will notice that I use a minimal amount of chicken stock.  I made some stock from a few old carcasses I had frozen.  Then I took the broth and froze it in ice cube trays; each cube was about two tablespoons.  A perfect portion size if you only need a few cubes.  Two cubes would equal ¼ cup, so four is ½ cup.

This is a great, creamy recipe with a little bit of spice.  The combination of Old Bay and Cajun spice is excellent; adding cream calms it down for the little ones.  You could use andouille sausage as a substitute if you want to go more authentic.  I hope you enjoy making this recipe!

Cajun Sausage and Shrimp Over Capellini


1 tbsp olive oil
1 half pound of Italian sausage
1 pound large shrimp – peeled, deveined, tails removed
2 red peppers – diced
1 onion – diced
2 stalks of celery – diced
3 cloves of garlic – sliced
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 cups of heavy cream
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tbsp dried parsley
1-2 bay leaves
1 tsp cajun spice
1/2 tsp old bay
2 teaspoons of kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 package Capellini pasta, optional

  • Heat a large skillet and some olive oil over medium-high.
  • Once the oil simmers, add the sausage and cook for five minutes until both sides are seared.
  • Transfer to a plate or bowl and set aside.
  • Turn the heat to medium.
  • Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion turns translucent.
  • Add the celery and red pepper and sweat for three more minutes.
  • Add one teaspoon of salt.
  • Add the chicken stock and deglaze the pan (scrape the browned bits and loosen them).
  • Add the Old Bay, Cajun spice, thyme, and parsley.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Add the sausage, heavy cream, and bay leaves.
  • Turn the heat up to high and bring it to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the cream simmer and reduce slightly.
  • Meanwhile, heat a pot of salted water for the pasta on a separate burner.
  • Add the shrimp to the cream sauce and stir.
  • The shrimp is cooked when it is red.
  • Add the remaining salt and pepper.
  • Once the water comes to a boil, add the Capellini and boil until al dente, about 8 minutes (check the package instructions first for timing).
  • Strain the pasta once cooked.
  • Add some pasta to a plate and spoon on the sauce.
  • Enjoy!