Linguine with Spicy Chorizo and Goat Cheese

10.28.10 § 5 Comments

Don’t ask me for help with stocking your pantry so that you’ve always got what you need to throw together a meal. I’ve obviously got no clue.
Not too long ago (right around the time of the infamous pizza-mac incident), I decided it was time to do some serious, adult-type shopping, stocking my pantry so that on the nights I don’t have the foresight to go to the grocery store I don’t have to resort to anything drastic (like eating my arm). I bought various canned beans, pastas, etc. and loaded up on things like ground beef, chorizo sausages, and chicken breasts, all of which I could put in the freezer. You don’t need to mention that without a microwave, I’m still screwed if I want to use any of this without foresight….I’ve figured that part out (in a moment of extreme frustration of course).

Thankfully, a few days ago, I did have the foresight to put some chorizo in the refrigerator in the morning so that it would defrost by dinner (go, me!). Unfortunately, my plan still didn’t work because I had to go to the grocery store to grab everything else I wanted to use for a linguine with chorizo recipe. And obviously I didn’t realize this until I’d already gotten home, and then I had to go back out. Thankfully the store is only a block from my apartment.


No matter. The pasta was really good and worth the trip. Most importantly, in the process of making it, I learned the difference between Mexican and Spanish chorizo, something that has caused numerous bouts of supermarket panic. It turns out that the Spanish version is cured and does not need to be cooked, while the Mexican variety is sold uncooked (and therefore must be cooked before being eaten). Either one will work for most recipes, but in most cases, the Spanish variety is what is being referred to if the recipe just says “chorizo” without specifying a type. And that concludes today’s lesson. Don’t ask me for tips on pantry meals. I’ve got nothing.

Linguine with Spicy Chorizo and Goat Cheese
from Sarah Foster’s Casual Cooking

2 tbsp olive oil
2 chorizo sausages crumbled (if using Mexican chorizo; if using Spanish chorizo, which is a hard smoked sausage that doesn’t need to be cooked, slice two links of sausage into small rounds; if you can’t find chorizo, you can also substitute spicy Italian sausage)
1 red onion, chopped
kosher salt
8 ounces linguine
4 cups spinach, washed, drained, and trimmed of tough stems
2 tomatoes, cored and chopped
1/4 cup dry red wine (I didn’t have any, so I used extra pasta water)
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or marjoram (or about 2 tsp dried)
6 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and onion and cook until the sausage is done and slightly browned. If you’re using Spanish chorizo instead of Mexican chorizo, you’ll only need to cook for about 3 minutes, to heat through. With Mexican chorizo, you may have to cook 5-7 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Stir in the linguine and cook until al dente, according to directions on the package.

Reserve a cup and a haf of the water you cooked the pasta in, drain the linguine, and transfer it into the skillet with the sausage and onion. Add the spinach, tomatoes, and wine (if you’re using wine – it was delicious even without it), and enough of the pasta water to make it slippery.

Cook and stir for 1 or 2 minutes, until the spinach is wilted and the ingredients are warmed through. Remove from the heat and stir in the goat cheese, parsley, oregano, and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve warm (with some crusty bread ideally).

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§ 5 Responses to Linguine with Spicy Chorizo and Goat Cheese

  • ahh i’m so excited!! i’m going to make it this weekend. i heart goat cheese!

  • tiraneah says:

    You can thaw out frozen meat by placing it in a couple of plastic bags and immersing it in room temperature water. Putting it in hot water will cook it, but cool water will thaw it. A chicken breast should take around 20 min. to give you an idea of how long it’ll take. Just remember to replace the water if it gets too cold to defrost.

    • tyla says:

      I actually do know this trick, haha. I should have put it in the post for everyone like me who took forever to figure it out! Thanks!

  • Sofia says:

    i totally fail at shopping in advance. there’s always *something* i need that i’ve forgotten, even when i try to put together the simplest of weeknight meals. oh well. anyway, i love goat cheese so this looks wonderful. and easy. i too am microwave-less and so that plastic bag trick is good to know! last time i tried to de-frost frozen soup, well… i won’t get into details, but let’s just say i broke a few things in the process. almost wasn’t worth it! so much for planning ahead!

  • i made this last night and it was delicious! for some reason my goat cheese got very melty (probably because i added it when the pasta was still too hot), but it created a very nice creamy sauce. i’m a pretty big spaz when it comes to cooking, but even i couldn’t mess this one up beyond repair. thanks tyla!

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