May 16, 2012
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This Crawfish Monica pasta recipe is the ultimate 30-minute meal you can make with simple ingredients that bring the New Orleans classic to your table!
You can cook this crawfish Monica recipe year-round with simple ingredients and minimal effort. There’s nothing better in the kitchen than a good pot of cheesy pasta!
Easy, Homemade Crawfish Monica
A few years ago, I shared here my food-induced coma outing to New Orleans Jazz Fest. That led to my pursuit of recreating some of the classic New Orleans Recipes on this website, and this crawfish Monica dish is one of them!
The combination of cheesy pasta and seasoned crawfish tossed into a creamy sauce is ridiculously good, but what makes this dish so unique is the spices. You can use your favorite mix or my Creole Seasoning recipe.
Let’s not forget the mudbugs (crawfish). If you use them from a leftover boil, consider only using ½ of the creole seasoning. If you don’t have crawfish where you live, you may substitute shrimp.
Why Is it Called Crawfish Monica
Crawfish Monica was created by chef Pierre Hilzim back in the early ’80s, who decided to name this dish after her wife: Monica Davidson.
The couple introduced a version of the recipe at the New Orleans Jazz Fest for the first time in 1983, but it had no pasta in it until the very next year when they served Crawfish Monica as we know it today. Since then, it has become one of the most popular NOLA Jazz Fest dishes.
Pasta, crawfish, and a delicious sauce are the base of this epic dish that offers all the classic New Orleans flavors.
Here’s what you need:
- Rotini pasta: spiral pasta is the classic one for this recipe, but any other you have on hand will work too.
- Olive oil & butter: for cooking.
- Aromatic vegetables: onion and garlic cloves.
- Creole seasoning: a blend of spices and herbs with all New Orleans flavors! Use store-bought or make your own seasoning with this recipe.
- Half and half: for a super creamy sauce!
- Crawfish tails: the star of the show! Use them boiled and peeled.
- Parmesan cheese: to make it cheesy!
- Reserved pasta water: to help the sauce reach the desired consistency.
How to Make Crawfish Monica
Make this easy crawfish Monica recipe, and you’ll have a heavenly dish in 30 minutes. Yes, it’s like attending the New Orleans Jazz Fest all year round!
- Cook the pasta
Prepare the pasta according to the package directions. Once cooked, reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then drain the water and set the pasta aside.
- Sauté onion & garlic
In the same pasta pot or a large skillet or pan, heat the olive oil and melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent, for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and creole seasoning, stir, and continue cooking for 2 more minutes.
- Make the sauce
Add the half and half and mix to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the sauce for about 3 minutes to thicken it up.
- Add the crawfish
Add the crawfish tails to the sauce, mix, and simmer for about 3 minutes.
Add the pasta back into the pot and pour half of the reserved water to help loosen up the pasta and mix it with the sauce. It will be thick, but don’t worry.
- Make it cheesy!
Add ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese over the pasta mixture, and mix to combine. Slowly add some of the remaining pasta water to thin out the sauce. You don’t have to add all of it just to your liking.
Serve crawfish pasta topped with more parmesan cheese.
Do you want more delicious mouth-watering recipes your entire family will love? I’m sure you do! Then you need to try this quick and easy typical New Orleans dish: Paneed chicken.
Crawfish Monica leftovers make a terrific lunch. You can store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge and up to 2 months in the freezer.
Easy Crawfish Monica (30 minute meal!)
- 16 oz rotini spiral pasta
- 1 cup reserved pasta water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon creole seasoning
- 2 cups half and half*
- 1 lb crawfish tails boiled & peeled
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese more for serving
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Once cooked, reserve 1 cup of pasta water aside, drain the water and set the pasta aside.
- In the same pasta pot or a large skillet or pan, heat the olive oil and melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until soft and translucent, for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and creole seasoning, stir, and continue cooking for 2 more minutes.
- Add the half and half and mix to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer the sauce for about 3 minutes to thicken it up.
- To the sauce add the crawfish tails to the sauce, mix, and simmer for about 3 minutes.
- Add the pasta back into the pot and pour half of the reserved water to help loosen up the pasta and mix it with the sauce. This will be thick but don’t worry.
- Add ½ cup of parmesan cheese over the pasta mixture, mix to combine, and slowly add some of the remaining pasta water to thin out the sauce. You don't have to add all of it just to your liking.
- Serve crawfish pasta topped with parmesan cheese.
Want more NOLA recipes? They are coming soon…
This recipe was so super easy to make and didn’t take long at all! It’s a great way to upgrade your dinners this crawfish season.
This simple crawfish monica recipe totally hit the spot!
This looks amazing!!! Can’t wait to try it!!
PS…love the picture of you and G! 🙂
Looks terrific! It’s great to see a lighter version of this tasty dish. And yes, more NOLA recipes please!
Working on a cochon de lait in the crockpot 😉
SAVE SOME FOR ME !!! YUMM !!!