A light, yet decadent pasta dish is perfect for those busy summer days. This Spicy Cajun Vodka Pasta Without Vodka doesn’t use alcohol, but uses tons and tons of Cajun flavor! Keep on reading until the end of this post to also find out how to enter my Sur La Table giveaway!
Have you ever roasted tomatoes before? It sounds wrong since tomatoes are so wet, but it is so right. When roasted, tomatoes get caramelized and sweet in the oven, lending an even deeper nuanced flavor. I thought, if roasted tomatoes taste so good, they must make a fabulous pasta sauce!
That’s where this Spicy Cajun Vodka Pasta Without Vodka was born. I wanted to make a dish with a nod to Cajun pasta while also integrating a classic Italian flare inspired by vodka sauce. To keep this dish family-friendly, no alcohol is used in the making of this dish. You don’t need it; the sauce is flavorful enough without vodka!
This dish as written is a vegan pasta supper. It uses vegan butter, coconut cream, and egg-free pasta. You can top it with vegan Parmesan cheese if you plan on making this dish as written. If you would like to make this recipe with traditional butter and cream, you certainly can! For non-vegan ingredients, use equal parts as listed in the recipe.
Pasta and tomato sauce is an easy dish to make if you follow a vegan diet. All cooking principles are the same, it comes together quickly, and all vegan ingredients are readily available at the supermarket. In addition, this dish is perfect for summertime because you can use cherry tomatoes from your garden! Roasting them brings out the sweetness and makes for a unique sauce.
Never roasted tomatoes before? I will show you how!
Tomatoes are usually slow-cooked in a pot to make pasta sauce along with onions, garlic, and herbs. Instead, I like to roast my tomatoes in a hot oven until they blister and become sweet. The heat from the oven caramelizes the outside of the tomato and enhances its natural sugars, much like how caramelized onions become sweet after cooking.
Roasted tomatoes are also better seasoned than their plain tomato counterparts. When you roast the tomatoes, you first toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper before they bake. That first step adds so much more flavor rather than making a sauce from plain raw tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are charred, it’s time to remove them from the oven.
The more charred your tomatoes are, the sweeter they will be. You do still want a little structural integrity to the tomatoes, so bake them until they just start to blister and blacken. The blackened flavor on the outside of the tomato really enhances the Cajun seasoning we will be adding to the sauce.
For the Tomatoes:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
Add the tomatoes to the baking sheet (in a single layer) and drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and bake for 10-15 minutes or until tomatoes are charred, wilted, and tender. Remove and set aside.
For the Pasta:
To begin, cook pasta according to packaging. NOTE: rigatoni pasta doesn’t take a long time to cook, usually 8-10 minutes (however, you should cook at 6-8 minutes or so—‘al dente’).
In a 5 Qt. cocotte or pot over medium-high heat, add the butter and let it melt. Add the garlic and sauté until soft and translucent.
Add in the cajun seasoning, red pepper flakes, and dried oregano, stirring until combined. Stir in the tomato paste followed by the coconut cream or milk. Continue stirring until completely combined and the sauce begins to thicken and become smooth.
When the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the sauce reducing the heat to low, stirring until sauce fully coats + sticks to the pasta. Add in the roasted tomatoes, slightly tossing them together. Remove from heat and serve.
If you love this amazingly fast Cajun pasta, you will love these recipes too!
***GIVEAWAY!*** Whether you’re an occasional cook or an everyday one, I’m so excited to be partnering with @surlatable to bring TWO lucky winners a 5 Qt. Staub Tall Cocotte + a $50 gift card to purchase @surlatable cookware, bakeware, cutlery, or dinnerware. This amazing Giveaway is in celebration of my upcoming cookbook, Orchids & Sweet Tea: Plant-Forward Recipes with Jamaican Flavor & Southern Charm, which features delicious healthy options for the entire family that is inspired by my backgrounds—Jamaican & Southern. Growing up as a picky eater, my love for food didn’t begin until my late teenage years after moving to New York City from Florida.
Over the years, I’ve learned that eating healthy looks different for everyone, and although I don’t subscribe to one single diet, eating more plant-forward dishes has been my best choice yet! To pay homage to both eating more plant-forward and cooking in this amazing @staub Cocotte, I’ve whipped together this delicious Cajun Vodka Pasta dish which can be found on my blog!
Here’s how to enter to win:
1) LIKE my post on INSTAGRAM
2) FOLLOW @surlatable and @orchidsnsweettea_
3) TAG a friend (or two!) in the post’s comment section for ONE entry!
4) Preorder my cookbook + send a screenshot via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for FIVE entries!
The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will run for 1 week (until Fri, June 25th). The winner will be selected at random + announced on Monday, June 28th, and notified by DM. Best of luck!!