Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fancy Manchego Macaroni with Chorizo

I have to admit, this is not a very pretty meal. I was somewhat embarrassed to serve it. After all, it bears a striking resemblance to Hamburger Helper. But I promise you, with all my heart, it tastes much fancier. And more delicious.

I actually would like to try this meal again without the chorizo. I haven't worked with it much before, and while it smelled delicious, and does pack a pretty fabulous flavor, the texture wasn't all that welcome in this dish. So unless you're a big fan, I'd either swap it out for some spicy Italian sausage, or just leave out the meat altogether and make this a vegetarian dish.

That aside, this meal is actually really good. The sauce is unlike any mac & cheese sauce you've had before. The flavors of dry sherry and manchego cheese fuse together in a beautifully elegant way. The pimientos and peas add some interesting texture contrast. It's a surprisingly sophisticated dish, in spite of its appearance.

If you've seen the classic (yes, classic) film Kissing Jessica Stein, then you'll know what I mean when I say that this dish is the culinary equivalent of sexy-ugly. So go forth and give it a shot.

Fancy Manchego Macaroni with Chorizo
adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray
serves 3-4


salt and pepper
1/2 pound short-cut whole wheat pasta
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1/4 pound raw chorizo sausage, casing discarded, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup skim or low fat milk
1 cup shredded manchego cheese
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons diced jarred pimiento peppers


1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and salt it. Cook pasta according to package directions, until al dente, and drain.

2. Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.

3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour, followed by the sherry. Stir in broth and milk and cook until thickened, about 5 more minutes. Season with pepper. Stir in the cheese, peas, and pimientos.

4. Toss the pasta with the sauce, and either stir in the chorizo or sprinkle it over the top (or skip it altogether, as I suggested above).

Enjoy! I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.


  1. Hi, it's a very great blog.
    I could tell how much efforts you've taken on it.
    Keep doing!

  2. Yum, I love the manchego in there. Though I would leave out the peas, because I have a serious hatred for them.

  3. You might try Spanish chorizo instead of (Mexican) chorizo fresco. It's smoked/cured, so it can be diced and doesn't need to be cooked. This might lend a more attractive appearance and would add a smoky flavor to the dish.