Chorizo pasta packs the complex flavor of an all-day pasta sauce but cooks in just 20 minutes with the help of a few pantry staples: Jarred roasted peppers bring bursts of sweetness, double concentrated tomato paste adds that slow-simmered feeling in half the time, and a touch of sherry vinegar lends balance.
2ouncesmanchego cheese,shaved into thin slices using a vegetable peeler (optional)
Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until just al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining. Drain pasta thoroughly and set aside.
Cook the chorizo, onion, and garlic: While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil over medium in a large Dutch oven until the surface of the oil begins to shimmer. Add sliced chorizo, onion, and garlic. Saute, stirring frequently, until the chorizo has rendered some of its orange fat and the onion is softened, 5-6 minutes. Season with a hefty pinch of salt.
Add the tomato paste and peppers: Carefully stir in the tomato paste and peppers, noting that the oil may splatter when the ingredients are first added. Saute, stirring frequently, until tomato paste begins to brown, 2-3 minutes.
Wilt the spinach: Spread the spinach on top of the red pepper mixture, followed by the cooked pasta. Drizzle ½ cup of reserved pasta water over the pasta and stir until the pasta is thoroughly coated and the spinach is wilted. Add more pasta water, a splash at a time, if needed to create a glossy sauce.
Season and serve: Add the sherry vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste, tossing once more to combine. Divide the chorizo pasta between serving bowls and garnish with shavings of manchego cheese, if using. Serve immediately.
If you need to substitute the mature spinach, use Swiss chard, lacinato kale, or defrosted frozen spinach.
You can use homemade roasted red peppers instead. Roast one large red pepper according to this recipe.
Be generous when salting the pasta water–it should taste “salty like the sea.”