In Louisiana the French and Italian cuisines are often married. This recipe for Crawfish Fettuccine is a typical example of local seafood substituted for the usual meat in a pasta dish.
Seafood dishes get quite creative during Lenten season since the majority of south Louisiana is Catholic even though Catholicism no longer requires this kind of fasting from meat. People still choose to fast from meat for health reasons these days with a nod to past religious tradition that has mellowed into a cultural tradition.
Louisiana men are known for their friendships developed from cooking or grilling what they often hunted and fished. Men tend to be the best cooks here. They also are the ones who tend to cook for large gatherings. This recipe comes from three friends who cook often for gatherings in their Catholic community.
From: James “B” Didier, Kenneth “Bobby” Barbier and Cliff McDaniel, All are close friends who enjoy cooking together for large gatherings - Holy Family Catholic Church, Port Allen, Louisiana
Yield: 50 servings - great for wedding rehearsal dinner!
2 ½ pounds margarine
12 yellow onions, finely chopped
6 bunches green onions, finely chopped
6 bell peppers, finely chopped
10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ cup finely chopped parsley
4 pounds Velveeta jalapeño cheese
(Velveeta is basically a combination of Swiss and Cheddar cheese that melts easily with added hot Mexican hot peppers you can find in a jar.)
12 pounds crawfish tails
4 pounds fettuccine
Grated Parmesan cheese
Directions: Sauté in the margarine the onions, green onions, bell peppers, garlic and parsley until soft.
Add jalapeño cheese and cook until melted and combined well. Add crawfish.
Boil fettuccine until done, drain well. Add to crawfish mixture. Remove from heat. Pour into large casserole. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
To serve, bake at 350 degrees until thoroughly heated.