Looking for something spicy, yet comforting tonight? I love Italian food and I love Mexican food, but why can’t I have them both in one meal? This delicious smoky and spicy meat sauce may be the ticket. Using the common technique of making a from-scratch red sauce, we are going to be making a chorizo version. Mexican chorizo breaks down fast, so this sauce cooks up in no time. Chipotles and cumin add smoky elements to this sauce, almost resembling shakshuka. A meaty, tangy tomato sauce tossed with fresh herbs and citrus. Like any good pasta, it’s all about the cheese. This is a perfect place for feta. Salty, briny, and flavor-packed cheese saves all pasta.
Unlike traditional red sauces that stew on the stovetop for hours, meat sauces tend to come together much faster. What we’re doing when we cook tomatoes on the stovetop that long is we’re developing flavor. Tomatoes are very watery vegetables and they take time to concentrate the flavor, so we slowly evaporate/cook the water out. Meat on the other hand adds a base flavor profile to the sauce. Less time and cooking are involved, the more infusing and layering of flavors is necessary. A 20-minute sauce to remember.
With a quick-cooking tomato sauce like this, layering flavor is everything. Fresh herbs, citrus juice, and finishing olive oils layer beautifully alongside tomato-based pasta sauces like this. Cilantro & basil pair beautifully together and were the main inspiration for this dish. If you’re not on team feta, focus on the salty funky cheese like parmesan or Pecorino Romano.
As always, finish with lots of fresh herbs and CHEESE!
Spicy Chorizo Pappardelle
Serves 4 - 6
10m prep time
25m cook time
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 onion, small diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 oz. Mexican chorizo
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 14 oz. whole peeled tomatoes, hand crushed
- 1/2 cup chipotles in adobo, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 10 oz. Pappardelle pasta
- 1/2 cup feta
- 1/2 cup cilantro sprigs, chopped
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, torn
- In a heavy bottom sauce pan, add olive oil, onion and garlic to the pan over medium high heat. Cook until garlic starts to smell fragrant, 1 - 2 minutes.
- Add in chorizo and break up with a wooden spoon until meat is browned. Deglaze the pan with white wine, let reduce for 1 minute and add in whole peeled tomatoes. Bring mixture up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add the chipotles and cumin to the tomato and season with salt.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pappardelle to al dente.
- Add cooked pasta to chorizo sauce with 1/2 cup pasta water. Cook until sauce coats each noodle and pasta is cooked through. Toss with lime juice, basil, cilantro, and crumbled feta.