Spanish chorizo, which is cured like salami, is the spicy and smokey foundation of this super delicious pasta recipe! Even though it’s ready to eat as is, slicing and frying the chorizo before adding it to the sauce to gives it a nice crispy texture.
The sauce for this pasta gets prepared in the smoky olive oil leftover from cooking the chorizo. To start, you’ll soften a yellow onion and some garlic in a skillet. Then, roasted red peppers, smoked paprika, salt and tomato paste get mixed in. In the interest of keeping things simple I use store bought sweet roasted red peppers and they taste great!
Last but not least, starchy pasta water and pecorino romano cheese is added to give the sauce a lovely richness. The cheese is also going to balance out the acidity of the tomato paste. Once the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick and glossy, the crispy chorizo gets added back into the skillet. If you like a little extra heat you can top your finished pasta with red pepper flakes or add them to the sauce at the same time as the paprika.
Equipment and Tools I Use for this Recipe
Spanish Chorizo Cavatelli with Roasted Red Peppers
- 250 grams cavatelli uncooked
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 100 g chorizo thinly sliced and cut into semi-circles
- ½ medium yellow onion diced
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ cup sweet roasted red peppers diced
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt plus more to taste
- ⅓ cup pecorino romano cheese finely grated
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes optional for serving
- Cook cavatelli pasta according to the directions on the package. Reserve ½ a cup of the starchy cooking water and strain.
- Heat olive oil on medium in a large pot or skillet. Add sliced chorizo and cook for 7 minutes or until it starts to crisp up, stirring occasionally. Set crispy chorizo aside on a plate, saving the oil that remains in the skillet.
- In the same skillet, add the onion and cook for 4 minutes or until it starts to become tender.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add garlic, roasted red peppers, tomato paste, paprika and salt. Stir occasionally for 3 minutes or until you can start to smell the smoky paprika.
- Add in the reserved pasta water and stir until the sauce just starts to the thicken. Add the pecorino romano and continue to stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick and glossy.
- Add the cooked cavatelli to the sauce and toss gently until everything is incorporated. Serve and top with red pepper flakes (if using).