Guess what? It’s National Pasta Month! A whole month dedicated to me. I mean, my favorite food. And speaking of favorite foods… chorizo has pretty much been a staple in our household recently. Ever since we discovered an incredible biscuits and gravy dish that featured this beautifully spicy sausage on the brunch menu at our favorite local Mexican restaurant, I haven’t been able to get enough of it!
There are two main types of chorizo: Spanish chorizo and Mexican chorizo. Spanish chorizo is a cured, dried pork sold in sausage form with a casing. It can be served as is and is already cooked. Mexican chorizo, on the other hand, is made from ground pork usually and is sold fresh and uncooked. While Spanish chorizo typically has a smokey flavor, Mexican chorizo has a really spicy kick to it that gives a certain “attitude” to any dish. Which is why I chose to feature it in this creamy, tomato-based ragu!
In this ragu, I cut the spiciness of the chorizo sausage by using regular ground pork and also added some prosciutto. This combination of meats allows for the spice of the chorizo to come through as well as the salty, fattiness of the prosciutto and pork. At the last minute I decided to make this ragu nice and creamy by adding heavy whipping cream and parmesan cheese right into the pan. Such a great decision: the finished product is a beautifully hearty ragu that manages to be perfectly lightened up for a fall (or even a springtime!) weeknight meal!
Did you make this recipe? Let me know what you thought by commenting below or tagging #thecharmingdetroiter!
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 medium-sized white onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 lb. prosciutto (or pancetta), diced
- 1/2 lb. chorizo sausage
- 1/2 lb. ground pork
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 tbsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 lb. orecchiette
- Parmesan cheese, grated
In a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add onion and carrots. Sweat for about 6-8 minutes until vegetables are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high and add pancetta, chorizo, and pork. Stir until meat is browned. Add tomato paste and stir until the mixture is glistening. Deglaze the pan with white wine, scraping up any brown bits that are stuck to the bottom. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 40-50 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Add cream and allow to reduce for 4-5 more minutes on medium-high heat.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions on package. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.
Heat a large, clean skillet over medium-high heat. Add desired amount of sauce and desired amount of pasta (about 1/2 cup sauce for every 1 cup of pasta). Add a splash of pasta water and a handful of parmesan cheese. Stir for about 1-2 minutes, allowing the pasta water to help bind the sauce and the cheese to the pasta. Serve with extra grated parmesan cheese.