Creole pasta refers to the pasta based dishes consumed by the Creole ethnic group living in the Louisiana state of the United States. The dishes are spiced up by the use of creole spice mix and hot peppers. Bell peppers, onions and celery form the holy trinity of Creole cuisine just like the Cajun counterpart, and are included in most pasta dishes.
Creole pasta dishes are flavored with a Creole seasoning, which consists of a combination of spices like powdered onion and garlic, dried herbs like basil, oregano and thyme, black and white peppers, cayenne pepper, salt and paprika. It can easily be prepared at home by combining together the various ingredients, which may vary in ratio and choice of spices for different chefs.
History of Creole Pasta
Pasta dishes were introduced in the Creole cuisine during the period of 1815 to 1925, when Italians and Greeks migrated to New Orleans, and set up businesses like shops and bakeries here. People employed in these businesses were often African American or Indian American, including the chefs, and this resulted into African and Asian influences in the pasta dishes.
Preparation of Creole pasta dishes typically involves cooking pasta in salted water till al dente, and then tossing with a thick sauce made with ingredients such as olive oil, garlic, onions, celery, bell peppers, tomatoes and flavorings, or a creamy sauce including wine or broth and cream instead of tomatoes. The sauce is spiced up with creole seasoning. Fresh vegetables and meats like chicken, shrimp and sausage are popular additions, which are included in pre-cooked form.
Popular Creole Pasta Disehs
- Seafood Pasta: Creole shrimp pasta is the most common in this category, and most often includes a creamy white sauce made with broth or wine, heavy cream, creole seasoning and the holy trinity of onions, bell peppers and celery.
- Chicken Pasta: This is made with chicken breasts cooked by sautéing with creole seasoning and then simmering in a sauce with broth, milk and flavorings. Andouille sausage is a popular addition to chicken pasta dishes.