October 8, 2012

Chorizo Spaghetti (Recipe)

Spaghetti can be pretty boring.  Thanks to the way our grocery store experience works, what ends up on most dinner tables is sauce from a jar, ground beef or sausage, and a nasty powdered mess that purports to be Parmesan cheese.  It's rarely bad.  It's also not a food that elicits excitement.  But it isn't that hard to make a good sauce at home, and you don't have to be an Italian grandma to do it.
Obviously, I'm no Italian grandma, so while I love the sauce that we've devised at our house, it's not very traditional.  The biggest difference is that the base flavor everything is built around is Basque chorizo.  (Not to be confused with Mexican chorizo.)  Wife pretty much built this recipe, and it's by far my favorite way to eat spaghetti, although a robust vegetarian spaghetti with mushrooms and zucchini is pretty good, too.

In a large saucepan, cook 4-6 Basque chorizo (one package) over medium heat.  I like to get a good char all over.  When they are done, remove them to a plate to rest.
A decent char. 
There should be a decent amount of oil from the chorizo in the bottom of your pan.  Be sure to leave it there, as we want that flavor to infuse the vegetables.  Add to the pan half an onion, diced, a diced red bell pepper, three minced garlic cloves, and a teaspoon each of salt and crushed red pepper.  Sautee five minutes or until the onions and peppers are soft and just beginning to caramelize.  Between the oils from the bell pepper and the seasonings from the sausage, the onions will be slightly orange-red--infusion achieved!
These still need to caramelize.
Once everything has caramelized, add a can of diced tomatoes (as always, Catfish's Dishes advocates using the "no salt added" variety,) a cup of tomato sauce, and a cup of chicken broth.  The chicken broth was another one of Wife's ideas, and it really helps this sauce to shine.  Bring to a boil.
The chicken broth and chorizo drippings really make this special.
While the sauce is warming up on the stove top, slice the chorizo into 1/4 inch slices.  When the sauce has reached a boil, add the sausage (and any juice that has leaked out onto the cutting board) back to the pan along with one cup of sliced black olives and a bay leaf and simmer for ten minutes.  Adjust seasonings to taste, and serve with freshly grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese over your favorite type of noodle--or spaghetti squash, if you want to make this meal even better.  Makes 6-8 dinner servings.  


  1. Wow! It looks wonderful on photos! Recipe is good also.

  2. This looks fantastic! I love the addition of the chorizo instead of the traditional - it's something we would totally fix!