Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Recipe: Bucatini with Chorizo Sauce and Shrimp

We went to Italy in October, including 3 days in Rome. I've been making various pasta all'amatriciana variations ever since. Today, I planned on a pretty simple variation using the fresh bucatini pasta from the farmer's market. It was to be bacon (i don't have any pancetta on hand), basil tomato sauce, served with sauteed gulf shrimp fresh from the farmers market.

Then I opened the fridge rediscovering the chorizo sausage. Pancetta or bacon...orrrrrr...chorizo? Why not, its fatty and flavorful. Totally different set of flavors, but I think the basic mechanics of all'amatriciana will work. Hopefully the taste pans out.

Normally, I base my recipe on Batali's version from Babbo restaurant. This one is totally different.

  • Chorizo sausage - casing removed
  • Red onion - halved, sliced
  • 3 tomatoes - chopped
  • 2 red peppers - julienne
  • 3 cloves garlic - sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive Oil
Toss the chorizo in a pan, fire up to medium low. Break it up with a wooden spoon. Let it cook until it releases a good deal of fat.

Add garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes.

Add peppers and onions. And some olive oil if there isn't enough chorizo fat to coast. Toss it around.

Let it saute for 10 minutes or so, tossing occasionally.

Add the chopped tomato. And a shot of salt. This will deglaze the pan. Fire it up to high until it gets to a boil then back off to a hardy simmer. It will take 15 or 20 minutes to get the tomatoes down to a good enough sauce.

Fresh pasta goes into salted boiling water for 3 minutes, drain, toss with the sauce.


I'm not a fan of cooking really good fresh seafood into a tomato sauce because you really lose the value of getting the good shrimp. So I'm going to sauté them separately with a little garlic, parmesan, and white wine. Also, I think the flavor holds up better when cooked shell on. I'd keep the heads on if they hadn't been removed already.
  • Shrimp - 1 pound medium gulf, cleaned, shell on
  • 2 shallot - sliced thin
  • 1/2 Cup of cheap Chardonnay (any white will do)
  • Grated Parmesan
  • Bunch of roughly chopped cilantro
  • Olive Oil
Butter and olive oil go in a medium heat sauce pan. Let the water cook out of the butter then add the shallots until they start to brown. Deglaze with the wine. Reduce until there is almost no wine left.

Add shrimp, salt and pepper, and a little more olive oil. Toss. It will take about 5 minutes to finish them.

Serve on top of the pasta with some grated parmesan.

An Italian, Mexican, Gulf Coast classic. Is this fusion? Probably not.