Thursday, May 20, 2010

Creamy Chorizo Pasta

I'm always looking for ways to spice up the dinner-in-a-pinch pasta dish. On Monday, we hadn't done the groceries and I wanted to see what I could concoct out of the pantry and fridge. I had some dried chorizo I had purchased at World Market a while back with the intention of making empanadas (before Sean decided he doesn't like empanadas), so I did a quick google search and came up with this recipe for creamy chorizo pasta.

First, I cut the chorizo into small pieces. They will feel almost too small (and I definitely wish I had purchased real chorizo links, instead of the little dried ones), but chorizo packs a lot of flavor, so you don't need a lot.

Then, I fried the chorizo with minced garlic cloves in olive oil, seasoned with a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Watch it! It will burn fast.

When the chorizo was browned, I added a half-cup of white wine (I use tiny little boxes of white wine for cooking).

I stirred the white wine/chorizo mixture, then added some prepared marinara sauce until it didn't look too thin. The recipe calls for crushed tomatoes, but if you don't have a can on hand, marinara works just fine. Don't sweat it; save the sweating for later.

I then added about a 1/2 cup of cream. I eyeballed the levels though, since Sean is pretty picky about cream. I ultimately added more marinara to keep it on the tomato side.

Then I trotted out to my container garden and snipped some of my basil, which I'm happy to report is bountiful.

When the sauce was coming to a boil, I added fusilli (or rotini) pasta and mixed it well.

I topped my pasta with some Mexican white cheese and basil.

This pasta filled me right up (I regret to say I didn't finish the bowl!), but was a cool mix of flavors. It was spicier than normal pasta with sausage, but the cream tempered that a bit. I thought the cheese was actually a little overkill, so I might skip that next time, or use parmesan. All in all, it was a delicious dish that seemed more complicated than it actually was, and isn't that always the goal anyway?

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