Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Out of my Comfort Zone

If you read many of my posts, you'll know that I'm a huge fan of Tex-Mex food.  I live in Texas, so of course I am.  When I think of chorizo, I think of the Mexican version that is soft and has to be cooked and is served oftentimes with eggs.  My husband is a huge fan of Mexican chorizo and a lot of times we make him several chorizo breakfast tacos in advance for him to eat throughout the week.

But there is another kind of chorizo that comes from Spain. It's a hard cooked sausage.  It tastes nothing like the Mexican chorizo that we are familiar with.  The seasonings are different and the texture is firm and slightly chewy.  I found some in the grocery store, so I decided to give it a whirl.

I did a little research (not much, so don't quote me), and Spanish recipes include a lot of paprika and oregano and saffron.  I whipped up this Spanish Chorizo Spaghetti with things I had on hand.  It's nothing like Italian spaghetti, though.  I used black olives because that's what I had, but I definitely think using the Spanish green olives would be better suited here.  I used cotija cheese on the top, but that's a Mexican cheese.  You could use Manchego or even feta if you like.  All in all, though, it was a good dish and we all enjoyed it.  I hope you do too!

8 ounces Spanish chorizo, sliced
1 lb spaghetti
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Red chili flakes, to taste
1 onion, chopped
1/4 C red wine
One 4-ounce jar sliced green Spanish olives
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 T paprika (I used smoked paprika)
Salt & pepper, to taste
Shredded Manchego (or crumbled feta or cotija) for garnish

Cook the spaghetti noodles according to package directions.

Meanwhile, drizzle a little olive oil into a large skillet.  Brown the chorizo slightly and remove from the skillet.  Add more olive oil, if necessary, and cook the onion over medium high heat until tender.  Add in the garlic and the red wine and deglaze the pan.  Cook until most of the wine is cooked out. Add in the crushed tomatoes, red chili flakes, saffron, oregano, paprika, and the olives.  Cover the skillet and reduce the heat to medium.  Simmer the sauce until it's slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.  

Toss the spaghetti noodles with the sauce and garnish with the cheese.

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