Chorizo sausage from Europe is traditionally smoked and cured pork that is used in a variety of dishes. A Spanish paella is always the first thing that comes to mind when I think of this type of sausage. However, there are other types of chorizo that are not cooked, but raw, and made with either fresh pork, chicken, or even vegan varieties. All of these chorizo sausages have one thing in common, and it’s the subtle smoky spices inside.
Fresh chorizo can come in a variety of styles. Mexican chorizo is made with pork and tends to be a bit hotter in flavor and a tad more greasy, than chorizo made from a specialty butcher. I enjoy them both, but there are certain recipes I prefer to add Mexican chorizo, and other varieties that I like to add to pasta, soups or stews. In this recipe, I used a chorizo from an online butcher, Porter Road, because the flavors don’t overpower the other ingredients in the pan, like sweet shrimp. There are many online butcher shops today, so the choices are tremendous, and I encourage people to shop their tastes, or find a local butcher that you enjoy.
This pasta dish is mostly a one skillet operation, except for boiling angel hair in a separate pot. The magic of chorizo and shrimp together remind me of one of my favorite dishes, steamed mussels, that has a bit of chorizo in the broth to bring out all the ocean flavors. In this dish, the pasta absorbs all the richness from all the ingredients, when tossed together, and a splash of wine brings a hint of acidity to the sauce. I like to pour it out, heaped on top of a platter, so my family can serve themselves, and pluck out bites of shrimp, tomato, sausage, and pasta in every spoonful.
1 shallot, minced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced – any variety
1/2 pound fresh chorizo sausage
1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup pecorino or parmesan cheese
fresh parsley leaves, optional
salt & pepper
8 ounces angel hair pasta
- Boil pasta for 9 minutes, then drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
- In a large skillet, add 2 teaspoons olive oil, shallot and mushrooms and place over medium heat. Sauté for 3 minutes or until slightly softened. Season with salt and pepper, stir.
- Add chorizo and stir, breaking it apart into bite sized pieces. Cook for 4 minutes, until mostly cooked through.
- Add shrimp and tomatoes and stir. Cook for 3 minutes, then add wine. Add butter and stir, until melted into broth. Add a splash of reserved pasta water, if needed, to create more broth. Continue cooking for 3 minutes, just until shrimp are pink.
- Add angel hair over top and toss with sauce. Pour into platter and sprinkle with pecorino and parsley. Serve family-style. Enjoy!