On first glance, the sauce looks like a creole sauce. People do tend to associate crawfish and the color red as being creole.
The herbs in this recipe are French Provence herbs and not Louisiana creole or Cajun herbs. Just because okra is part of the tomato ragout and crawfish are the featured protein, it does not mean that this is a Cajun or Creole recipe! New Orleans restaurants do feature French food, because of Louisiana French heritage. New Orleans French entrees do not usually have much cayenne pepper in the recipe and the flavors tend to be more gentle.
This is a nice light springtime pasta that was made with fresh ripe red tomatoes. The fresh plum tomatoes in my area have been ripe and dark red lately. These kind of ripe tomatoes are great for al fresco sauces and ragouts. The okra cooks tender in the same amount of time that it takes to stew ripe tomatoes. When okra is stewed for a short time, it does not become slimy. After about 30 minutes of stewing, okra becomes mucilaginous, so do not stew the ragout all day!
Fettuccine with Crawfish Okra Tomato Ragout a la Herbs de Provence:
Heat a saute pan over medium/medium low heat.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.
Add 2 pats of unsalted butter.
Add 2 minced garlic cloves.
Add 1 teaspoon of minced shallot.
Add 2 tablespoons of chopped onion.
Saute till the onions start to turn clear in color.
Add 5-7 small fresh okra that are cut in half lengthwise.
Add 2 plum tomatoes that are cut into wedges.
Saute the ingredients for 2 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of dry white wine.
Simmer and reduce, till the liquid is almost evaporated.
Add 1/3 cup of tomato puree.
Add 1 cup of shrimp broth.
Add 1 bay leaf.
Add 2 pinches of herbs du provence.
Add 1 small pinch of tarragon.
Add 1 small pinch of cayenne pepper.
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Add 15 peeled poached crawfish tails and their orange fat.
Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
Add 2 pinches of finely chopped Italian parsley.
Reduce the temperature to low heat.
Note: Now is the time to start cooking the fettuccine! Cook 1 small portion of fettuccine in boiling water over high heat, till the pasta becomes al dente.
Simmer and reduce the ragout, till the ragout becomes a medium consistency, with no excess liquid.
Keep the ragout warm over very low heat.
About 1 minute before the fettucini becomes cooked al dente, place 4 whole poached crawfish in the hot pasta water.
When the pasta finishes cooking, drain the water off of the crawfish and fettucini. Use tongs to remove the crawfish and set them aside.
Place the fettuccine in the crawfish okra tomato ragout.
Toss the ragout and pasta together.
Remove the bay leaf.
Use a long straight tine carving fork to gather the pasta in the pan, while spinning the fork.
Turn the fork with the pasta vertically onto the center of a plate while continually spinning the fork.
Pull the fork straight up. You should end up with a small vertical twist of fettucini on the plate!
Spoon the crawfish okra tomato ragout a la herbs de provence around the pasta on the plate.
Place the warm whole poached crawfish around the pasta, so they look nice.
Garnish the plate with a parsley sprig and a thin lemon wedge.
The whole crawfish are nice to snack on between bites of the pasta. This is an appetizer portion or a petite pasta portion for a multi course dinner. Yum! ... Shawna