It’s all about the chorizo this week!! Seriously, I love the stuff and can’t get enough of it.
A few facts about chorizo:
- Chorizo is widely used in both Mexican and Spanish cookery. Mexican chorizo is made with fresh pork and chilli peppers whereas the Spanish version uses smoked pork and dried smoked red peppers.
- The skin should be removed and the chorizo crumbled before cooking. The best way to remove the casing is to use a knife to slit the casing length wise then peel off in one piece
- Many recipes using chorizo do not call for using oil. This is because, during cooking, chorizo releases a delicious, spicy red oil. It therefore may make your dish too oily if use extra oil.
- ‘La Matanza’ is a time during the autumn and winter where families in rural Spain get together for “slaughter” of the pigs; pigs are cut up and made into, amongst other things, chorizo, by being left to dry in neighbour’s attics.
Anyway…on to a recipe I have been making for some time. It isn’t too taxing and features chorizo, tomatoes and butternut squash – three very different flavours which compliment each other perfectly.
Memoirs of an Amateur Cook’s Smoky Chorizo and Butternut Squash Pasta
300g penne pasta
Approximately 500g butternut squash, deseeded and diced
One red onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
One red pepper, finely diced
200g chorizo, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
A glug of red wine
Half a tsp sugar
2 tbsp tomato puree
One carton of passata
Fresh basil, torn
Fresh Parmesan, grated
Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees. Spray a roasting tin with frylight. Add the butternut squash and toss in a few tablespoons of paprika. Roast for approximately 30 minutes until soft then remove from the oven.
Spray a frying pan with frylight and heat. When hot, add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes until soft. Add the chorizo and red pepper and cook for another few minutes until the chorizo is looking darker in colour.
Pour in the red wine. Keep the pan at a fairly high temperature and allow the liquid to reduce by half.
In a saucepan, boil some water and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
Add the passata, tomato puree, sugar and a few leaves of torn basil to the pan.
After 5 minutes, add the butternut squash to the tomato sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Just before serving, drain the pasta. Add some grated parmesan to the tomato sauce and stir through.
To serve, place the pasta on a plate and top with the tomato, chorizo and butternut squash. Top with a few parmesan shavings and basil leaves.
I did think about making my own tagliatelle for this dish as I think it would go really well but as it was mid-week, I unfortunately didn’t have time to experiment. I would recommend giving it a try though as I reckon adding homemade pasta to the mix would make this dish even more satisfying!!
I sometimes add a bit of smoked paprika to the mix to make this extra spicy and smoky! Be careful though, it can make the dish quite hot!
Tip: I know butternut squash can be a complete pain in the backside to peel. Sometimes when roasting, I keep the skin on but I really do feel that in this recipe, it is worth peeling the squash. To the skin a bit softer, pop the butternut squash in the microwave for 30 seconds or so – you should find it is much easier to peel!