Recipe for Macarrones con Chorizo- Spanish pasta with a simple tomato sauce, thinly sliced chorizo, and shredded Manchego cheese.
Macarrones con Chorizo is a fairly quick and easy way to use up two of my favorite Spanish ingredients: Chorizo and Manchego cheese. A simple tomato sauce is made with peeled and chopped Roma tomatoes, caramelized onions, and a bit of sugar and dried oregano. After blending together, the sauce is tossed with thinly sliced chorizo and al dente penne pasta before transferring to a baking dish. Top evenly with a layer of shredded Manchego cheese and broil just until golden and bubbly. Most of the recipes I have come across use penne pasta, but you can substitute with other types of tube pasta if desired.
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. Be careful 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.
Looking for more Spanish recipes? Try Pan con Chocolate, Patatas a la Riojana (Potatoes Rioja-Style with Chorizo), and Zanahorias Aliñadas (Spanish Marinated Carrots).
Macarrones con Chorizo (Spanish Pasta with Chorizo) Recipe
Adapted from The Spanish Cuisine
Macarrones con Chorizo (Spanish Pasta with Chorizo)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 smoked Spanish chorizo casing removed and thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 ripe plum tomatoes peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano or basil
- 1 pound dried penne pasta
- 4 ounces Manchego cheese shredded
In a medium saucepan, drizzle olive oil over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced chorizo and cook, stirring often, until heated through, about 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chorizo to a plate while leaving behind the oil.
Add the onion to the saucepan and drizzle with salt. Reduce heat to low and cook until onions begin to caramelize, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, and oregano. Continue to cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce or carefully transfer to a stand blender.
Bring large pot of water, lightly salted, to a boil. Once boiling, add penne and cook until al dente, just tender. Remove from heat and drain.
In the pot used to cook the pasta, combine the drained penne, tomato sauce, and chorizo. Transfer to a broiler-safe baking dish and top with shredded cheese.
Place in the oven under a broiler set on low until cheese is melted and bubbly, 3-4 minutes.