In Which Pasta Gets Zesty…

Chorizo and Olive Fusilli

Chorizo and Olive Fusilli

Members of my family and a lot of my friends are crazy about pasta.  Spaghetti, fettucine, lasagne, even plain ol’ elbow macaroni – name it, they like it.  Of course, people are totally divided as to the sauces: one camp declaring that tomato is the way to go while another is hopelessly devoted to cream.  (And don’t get me started on the ones who declare that aglio olio – olive oil and garlic – is how God eats His pasta.)

Me, I try not to take sides with anyone.  Some meals call for a classic red sauce, others call for white, and, of course, there are days when only the simplicity of olive oil and fresh veg will do.  And sometimes, there are days when you just want an enormous bowl of pre-tossed pasta flecked with chunks of the good stuff: cheese, fresh veg, olives, capers, maybe cubes of a smoky, spicy sausage.  That’s where this bowl of chorizo and olive fusilli comes in.

Zesty and flavourful, it’s a one-dish meal that definitely rocks and is bound to be a family favourite – regardless of which side of the pasta debate you’re on.  Plus, it’s easy and feeds a crowd.  😉

Chorizo and Olive Fusilli

  • 500 grams fusilli or rotelli, prepared according to packet instructions
  • 300mL tomato sauce
  • 1 chicken or vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 chorizo de Bilbao or chistorra sausage, diced
  • 1 eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 1 red onion, chopped finely
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons black olives, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil and/or oregano, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or aged Edam cheese

Cook the pasta according to packet instructions.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water; set aside.

Heat a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.  Pour in the oil.  Once the oil starts to bubble, add the onion and cook till softened.  Add the garlic and cook till slightly browned at the edges.  Add the bouillon cube and the herbs; cook till the bouillon has dissolved and the herbs have released their fragrance.  Add the sausage and eggplant and cook till the eggplant has softened slightly before adding the olives.  Pour in the tomato sauce and the reserved pasta water; stir well and bring to a boil.  Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning.  Toss in the pasta and transfer to a serving dish; top with the cheese.  Serve immediately.

Serves 8.