Chorizo, tomato & caramelised shallot pasta

Those who know me will know how important pasta is in my life. (Extremely). I eat it at least once a week, usually more, and have a few favourite pasta dishes in my repertoire that I’d like to share with the world. This is one of them.

The beauty of this dish is that the pasta gets coated in a sweet, silky sauce made from caramelised shallots, garlic and cherry tomatoes, but then that sweetness is nicely punctuated by salty, smoky discs of soft chorizo, while a splash of sherry vinegar serves to balance everything out with a bit of acidity. Delicious.

A few notes on ingredients –
• Bucatini is superior to spaghetti in this dish, if you can find it – I found mine in the Taste the Difference pasta section at Sainsbury’s. But really it will work with any pasta shape.
• Try to resist buying cheap cherry tomatoes because the sweeter and more flavourful the tomatoes, the better this dish will be (obvz). If I’m buying mine at the supermarket, I always go for Sainsbury’s Vittoria cherry tomatoes.. they’re a flavour sensation (not sponsored by Sainsbury’s by the way, I just have one near me..)
• Try to find cooking chorizo instead of a ring of chorizo as it’s got a much nicer, soft texture.

Chorizo, tomato and caramelised shallot pasta

Serves 2

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 30 mins

1 tbsp olive oil
3 large banana/echalion shallots, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
190g spaghetti, linguine or bucatini (I used bucatini…it’s the most satisfying)
120g cooking chorizo
220g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp sherry vinegar

¼ tsp sugar (soft brown or caster)
handful parsley, to serve
parmesan, to serve

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan or casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and a large pinch of salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until completely softened and starting to become golden at the edges. It should take around 15 mins – don’t rush this, as getting the shallots deliciously sweet and caramelised is what makes this dish so good!

  2. While the shallots are cooking, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Once boiling, salt it heavily, then add your pasta and cook for 1 min less than pack instructions.

  3. Peel your chorizo to remove the paper-like skin, then slice into rounds. Once the shallots are caramelised, chuck in the chorizo and cook until the oils start seeping out (around 2-5 mins).

  4. Turn the heat down to medium, stir in the tomato puree and cook for a further minute, before chucking in the cherry tomatoes, sugar and sherry vinegar. Gently simmer until the cherry tomatoes have softened (around 10 mins), then add 50ml (around half a mugful) of pasta water to create more of a sauce. Taste at this point and season with salt and pepper. If your tomatoes aren’t very sweet you can add a pinch more sugar and if you like things acidic, a splash more vinegar.

  5. Once the pasta has cooked, drain, reserving about a mugful more of the pasta water in case you need it to loosen the dish further. Tip your pasta into the shallot, tomato and chorizo mix and stir until everything is combined. You want everything to nicely coat the pasta, so add pasta water if it’s looking dry. Divide between two bowls and top with freshly chopped parsley and grated parmesan before serving.

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