Macarrones con Chorizo is a Spanish dish combining pasta with a tomato sauce and thin slices of chorizo. In this version, the pasta is placed in a baking dish, topped with cheese, and broiled until the cheese is melted and bubbly. This easy, but highly addicting dish had Chad and I fighting over leftovers. It is particularly popular with children. Most of the recipes I have seen use penne pasta, but you can substitute with other types of tube shaped pasta if needed.
Spanish Chorizo is a type of smoked or cured sausage seasoned with paprika. Based on the type of seasoning, it can be spicy or sweet. It is available in the specialty or deli section of many larger grocery stores and I was able to find it in a local specialty cheese shop. Do not substitute with Mexican Chorizo, a completely different product. I used mild Spanish Chorizo for this dish, but the spicy version would be great for those who want a little kick.
Manchego is a type of Spanish cheese made with sheep’s milk, pasteurized or unpasteurized. It is from La Mancha, Spain and named after the breed of sheep- Manchega. The color is pale yellow to yellow with a deep yellow to brownish inedible rind. In the beginning of the aging process, from 3 to about 6 months, it is called Manchego Curado. At this point, the cheese is pale yellow with a smooth texture. Once the cheese is aged around a year (Manchego Viejo), the yellow color deepens and it becomes crumbly in texture. It is fragrant, with a sharp and nutty flavor. Take care not to confuse it with Manchego-style cheese created in other parts of the world. If you cannot find Manchego, Parmesan and Pecorino Romano are also popular for topping Macarrones con Chorizo.
More information on Manchego cheese.