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So I was pretty bored with pasta. In an attempt to breathe the life back into the dish, I threw in a bunch of stuff I’ve never put in pasta before. I call it: pesto pasta shells with chorizo!
Remember when I thought juggling pans while cooking pesto chicken pasta was hard? Well for this dish I found myself calling in the cavalry (AKA Jake) to check and flip my poor little neglected chorizo patties.
I found the original recipe here on Pinterest, but adjusted accordingly because I couldn’t find orecchiette pasta anywhere?! I settled for a comparable shape: shells. Shout out to my dad who suggested using chorizo instead of chicken sausage — it’s a winner.
Here’s what you’ll need (yields four servings — AKA dinner plus leftovers for two): 8 oz. chorizo, 12 oz. medium shell pasta, 1/2 lb. cut green beans, 1 cup frozen peas, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, and 1/3 cup pesto.
- Prepare your pasta shells as the box instructs (Remember: add pasta after the water comes to a boil. I always forget that…)
- While your water is boiling, go ahead and chop up your chorizo and shape them into little patties.
- Add pasta to pot, then place your chorizo patties in another pan to cook. (Remember to flip them!)
- During the last few minutes of pasta cooking, add 1/2 lb of cut green beans and 1 cup of frozen peas — mix it together with the pasta shells.
- Once your pasta is finished cooking, drain the water — but keep 1 cup of the cooking water to loosen the sauce later.
- Add cooked chorizo, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 1/3 cup pesto, and 1/2 cup of cooking water to the pot (add more if needed), and mix it all together.
And voila! You’ve got a pasta dish unlike any plain pesto sauce or meat marinara.
If you’re thinking about using a different kind of meat like chicken sausage — don’t. The chorizo gives every bite of pasta this little kick of spiciness — just the right amount to keep things interesting. I don’t even normally like green beans or peas, but I welcomed the different textures they brought to a pasta dish.
Plus — the beautiful thing about pasta shells is that they somehow envelop a pea, a green bean, or even a bit of chorizo and it’s like there’s a surprise in every bite.
I highly recommend this dish. Throw in a side of garlic bread and you’ve got a delicious Italian dinner. What are your favorite pasta dishes? Sound off in the comments!