Caribbean Pasta

I found this at allears.net, where they have a bunch of recipes from the parks. This is a rich, hearty pasta meal that is ridiculously simple to make, but looks and tastes like it took hours to prepare! In other words, it’s my favorite type of recipe. I made some adjustments to the original, and after I tried to meal, I have a couple of other suggestions.

This was my first time using the ingredient chorizo. I you have never tried it, it’s almost like kielbasa, but it’s a little spicy and drier. It’s really tasty and leaves a cleaner taste than other sausage-type meats since it isn’t greasy. I can see myself using it in many other dishes!
Okay, let’s get to it!

This recipe can be enjoyed at Shutters at the Caribbean Beach Resort.

This recipe can be enjoyed at Shutters at the Caribbean Beach Resort.

You know a meal is going to be good when the recipe calls for wine. I’m not by any means a Sommelier, and most times I am happy to be drinking a glass of white or red that comes from a $10 bottle. But I DO know an expert rule of thumb to follow when cooking with wine: Choose a wine that you would enjoy drinking.So true! This is what I used:

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Pour yourself a glass and make sure you like it. 😉

Set a large pot filled with water to boil. The recommended pasta to be used in this dish is called orechiette, and it’s the cutest pasta I have ever cooked with! They look like little sombreros and that makes me smile.

How adorably fun are these!

How adorably fun are these!

I used half a pound of pasta for the dish. The recipe from the website uses the measurement of ounces for all ingredients, so I winged it as I went along. My measurements will feed a family of four easily. Depending on the appetites, you may have some yummy leftovers for lunch the next day, and that is never a bad thing!

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While the water is warming up, get your vegetables ready. I sliced one red pepper and one green pepper in 1/2″ strips, then cut the strips in half. I also diced one small onion. Get the vegetables into a warm saute pan (medium-high heat) coated with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

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This appears to be the beginning of an upscale peppers-and-onions dish. To be honest, I did not enjoy having the green pepper in the dish. The bold green pepper didn’t play well with the other flavors. I would suggest either using two sweet red peppers or even a red and orange pepper. The sweetness was needed in this dish to complement the spicy chorizo and the heaviness of the cream. Also something to note; I opted to leave out the jalapeno in this dish because my family doesn’t do spicy very well. If I had kept that ingredient, perhaps the green pepper would have gone with the dish better. The best thing about cooking is that you can always customize the meal to fit what you like!

Now, let’s slice up the chorizo!

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While the vegetables are cooking, slice up a pound of chorizo into 1/2″ – 1″ slices. I like to cut the meat on an angle, but I can’t tell you why. I’ve always seen chefs on TV doing it, and I figure they must have a reason for it. Plus it does look fancier than cutting them into rounds, so the little extra step makes the presentation more appealing, therefore making it necessary. 🙂

Once the vegetables have been cooking for about 5-7 minutes and are becoming tender, add the chorizo to the pan. Raise the temperature to high to get the meat caramelizing. You want to have a nice crust on the outside of the meat. At this point, your water should be boiling. Add the pasta and cook for about 20 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.

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Cook the vegetables and chorizo together for about 7-10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the meat is slightly browned. Now turn the heat down to medium, and add the wine. I used two good splashed of wine, about 4 tablespoons. The wine will work to deglaze the pan. Once you add the wine, take a small whisk or spoon and mix the wine around to pick up all the small bits on the bottom of the pan. Those cooked bits of vegetable and chorizo hold a ton of flavor, so make sure to get them all released from the pan!

See how the meat and vegetables have developed a darker crust.

See how the meat and vegetables have developed a darker crust.

Let the wine cook out for about 2-3 minutes. Now it’s time to add the finishing touches.

I sliced up two medium tomatoes, and added that to the pan along with a 1/2 pound of baby spinach. It’s important to let the tomatoes cook for about 5 minutes before adding the heavy cream and pasta. The sauce is very light, so you need to juices from the tomatoes to cook out or else your dish could be dry. Next time, I might try a large beefsteak tomato for extra juiciness. Once the tomatoes are soft, add 1/4 cup of heavy cream and the cooked orechiette pasta.

Oooh, it's coming together nicely!

Oooh, it’s coming together nicely!

Turn the heat down to low and let the dish simmer for about ten minutes, just long enough for the pasta to soak up some of the flavor. After the dish has simmered, it’s time for my favorite part. I crumbled a 4 ounce log of goat cheese over the top of the dish. The goat cheese adds such a creamy texture against the meatiness of the chorizo and peppers, but also adds a tangy brightness to complement the heavy cream and wine sauce.The crumbled cheese nests inside the bowl-shaped pasta and pops in your mouth. I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t skip the goat cheese in this recipe!

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And voila! Is that not the prettiest one-pot dish you’ve ever seen? Like I said, the dish was so simple to make and so easily customized that you need to do yourself a favor and try this dish!

Click here for the original recipe (also listed below):

Ingredients:
1 ounce Red Peppers
1 ounce Green Peppers
1 ounce Diced onions
1/4 ounce Jalapenos
2 ounce Heavy cream
1 ounce White wine
1 ounce Tomatoes
4 ounces Chorizo Sausage
¼ ounce Cooking oil
.25 ounces Goat cheese (per serving)
1 ounce Spinach
4 ounces Cooked Orechiette Pasta

Add ons:
6 pieces Shrimp
5 ounces Chicken Breast

Method of Preparation:
1. In large pan, bring water to a boil and add 4 ounces of Orechiette Pasta
2. Cut vegetables (small diced red, green, and jalapenos peppers, and onions) (medium diced
tomatoes and Chorizo sausage)
3. In hot sauté pan, add oil, onions, peppers (red, green and jalapenos) and cook until tender
4. Add Chorizo sausage and any other add-ons you would like to have
5. Deglaze with white wine
6. Add heavy cream and add pasta, tomatoes, and spinach
7. Sprinkle goat cheese on each serving

 

 

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