Pasta with Chorizo and Mussels – the perfect fusion of Spanish and Italian cuisine


This is an absolutely wonderful pasta dish which combines the seemingly unlikely pairing of chorizo and mussels but it is certainly one of my favourites – a combination of Spanish and Italian flavours – so Mediterranean. This recipe comes from José Pizzaro in his book Spanish Flavours. I have made it with some of our local mussels from here in South Australia, so maybe it tasted extra special too! This recipe will serve 4. The perfect wine would be a light red of either Spanish or Italian style.

Pasta with chorizo and mussels

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon crushed dried chillies

400g skinned. chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned

1kg fresh mussels, cleaned and de-bearded

400g dried spaghetti

6 tablespoons dry white wine

200g cooking chorizo sausage, skinned and diced

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put 4 tablespoons of the olive oil, the garlic and chillies in a large frying pan and place it over medium-high heat. As soon as the garlic is sizzling, add the tomatoes and simmer gently for 15 minutes until well reduced, quite thick and just starting to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Meanwhile, bring a large pan of well-salted water to the boil. Add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook for 10-11 minutes or until al punto – still with a little bite.
Wash the mussels, then heat a large pan over a high heat, add the mussels and the wine cover and cook for 2-3 minutes, shaking the pan now and then, until all the mussels are only just open. Take care not to overcook them at this stage. Tip them into a colander placed over a bowl to collect the cooking juices. Stir all but the last tablespoon or two of the cooking liquid into the tomato sauce and continue to simmer until the sauce has reduced and thickened once more, but is a little more moist than before. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove half of the larger mussels from their shells.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan, add the chorizo and fry gently for 1 minute until lightly golden. Drain the spaghetti, return to the pan and add the tomato sauce, cooked mussels, chorizo sausage and chopped parsley. Toss well together and serve.




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