Chorizo Pasta

This is a superbly simple dish. Basically just 5 main ingredients, the paprika spiked chorizo warms with its mild smokiness and combined with the tomatoes provides a rich ragu in a short amount of time. Topping this with some grated buffalo mozzarella and fresh, peppery rocket delivers a plate that will warm and comfort on any chilly autumn evening, and indeed even the whole year around.


A warm and comforting dish for any night of the week

Ingredients (Serve 4-6)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 x 250g chorizo peeled and sliced into ½ centimetre slices

3 x garlic cloves peeled and chopped

A large handful of rocket

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

1 x 30g packet of flat leaf parsley, large stalks removed and chopped

1 ball buffalo mozzarella, drained and grated

500g rigatoni (see further notes on pasta below)

Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

Go the extra mile

100ml red wine

A splash, approx. 1 tsp sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar if not)

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling


Simple ingredients but sublime taste


  1. In a cold frying pan add the olive oil and the chorizo and turn on the heat to high. This will slowly render out the wonderful paprika flavoured oils in the chorizo. Cook on a high heat for a couple of minutes and add the garlic, cooking for a further minute until the garlic starts to turn golden
  2. Add the sherry vinegar if using and toss around the chorizo and garlic, followed by the tins of tomatoes to the pan, followed by the red wine (again if using)
  3. Bring to a boil and cook on a high heat for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then to prevent sticking.
  4. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions (see further instructions below) and retain some of the cooking water before draining when cooked
  5. Transfer the pasta back to the pot and combine with the chorizo tomato sauce. Add the rocket, chopped parsley and half the grated mozzarella. Season with salt and a little freshly ground black pepper. Remember the rocket is peppery so use the black pepper sparingly. Add some of the pasta water if the sauce is too thick and needs loosening
  6. Spoon into bowls, add some more mozzarella to the individual plates and top with some more rocket if you have it. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Chorizo Pasta

Just a couple of notes on the recipe: This dish works well with any tubular pasta as it holds the sauce well. I have used rigatoni here but would work equally as well with fusilli or penne.

The Italians apparently say that the water you cook your pasta in should be as salty as the sea. How salty you make it is entirely up to you but for 500g pasta I would recommend 8-10tsp salt. The reason for this is that salt adds flavour to the dry pasta as it cooks. How salty you make it is entirely up to you but the two other necessities that should not be neglected are the amount of water and the size of the pot.

Remember Julia ““Always start out with a larger pot than what you think you need,” from the first post? Well now it’s time to take that advice. A big stockpot or as big a pot as you have will do the trick. I use and recommend 1 litre of water to 100g of pasta. I know this may seem like a lot but it is needed so that the starchy pasta has room to swim while cooking and doesn’t get stuck to each other. The myth that adding oil to pasta water is quite frankly a fallacy and does nothing but waste good olive oil being poured down the sink. Reserving some of this starchy water before draining is a great way of loosening a thick sauce and also helps the sauce to cling better to the pasta.

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There are 12 comments

  1. Laura Keane

    Really enjoyed this Cathal I had made this before but not with rocket, parsley or mozzarella! Amazing how these few ingredients changed the taste really yummy! Dulano chorizo is just fab too!?

    1. Cathal

      Thanks Laura! I’m so glad that the few added ingredients have made the difference for you. It’s a simple recipe but a good one 🙂 And the dulano is good isn’t it? 🙂

  2. Joan Crane (John's cousin)

    Hi Cathal, I made your Chorizo Pasta and it was delicious. The kids absolutely loved it . So I shall be making it again. Next to try is your pavlova. ☺

    1. Cathal

      That’s fantastic Joan, I’m thrilled that you all enjoyed the recipe! Best of luck with the pavlova, definitely give it a go ?? Thanks for the comment, hope you’re well x

  3. Mary

    I’m going to take on board your advice re cooking the pasta. I *never* use the big stockpot for pasta – it just feels too big and… wasteful (???). But then I find myself cursing when the smaller pot starts spitting starchy water all over the cooker top.
    Thanks for that!

    1. Cathal

      Thanks Mary! I encourage you to try it and I think once you do you’ll be pleased with the results. We’re not paying for water charges now so it’s grand! ? Thanks so much for the comment xx

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