The dark, chilly days of winter can bring on this sort of pall and lack of energy (or maybe that’s just this Southerner that doesn’t do well in the cold). I don’t feel as energized, motivated or creative. But mostly, more time in the house means more mess and more mess is more frustration. So a one pot, low mess, fewer dirty dishes dinner is just the thing. But that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. In fact, I think this pasta dish inspired by sunny Spain and the Mediterranean is a perfect bright spot on a dull day. For such a simple ingredient list, it is packed with punchy flavors. I love one-pot pastas, like my Carrot Coconut Curry noodles, the simple Pumpkin Goat Cheese, or the rich and dreamy Gorgonzola version.The chorizo I use here is the hard Spanish variety, rather than the soft Mexican style. Mixed with pimenton-style paprika and cured, it adds a lot of depth to this simple dish. I readily find it in the fancy cheese section of larger or specialty grocery stores. This may seem like a lot of garlic, but trust me, it melds perfectly with the pasta and bright punch of lemon. Smoked paprika adds a lovely edge, but regular sweet paprika is a good substitute. If you like some spice, spicy chorizo picacante is an option, or add some red pepper flakes to the oil and garlic before the liquid. Unlike a plain boiled pasta, you do want to stir the noodles around occasionally, particularly as the liquid is absorbed to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot. You can use this same method to make a shrimp scampi style pasta without the chorizo or paprika, so put that in your pocket for one more pot meal idea.
Shrimp and Chorizo One Pot Pasta
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces Spanish chorizo, sliced into thin half moons
12 ounces peeled and deveined shrimp, thawed if frozen
5 large cloves of garlic, finely minced or put through a press
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ cup white wine
12 ounces spaghetti
5 cups water
Zest and juice of one lemon
2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- Melt the butter in the olive oil in a 3 quart Dutch oven or pot over medium high heat. Add the chorizo and sauté for 2- 3 minutes until slightly crisp and it has released a little fat. Using tongs, remove the chorizo to a plate. Put the shrimp in the oil in one layer and cook until curled, pink and slightly browned, turning the shrimp halfway through cooking. Remove the shrimp to the plate with the chorizo. Add the minced garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add the smoked paprika, stir and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Pour in the wine and let it bubble for 2 -3 minutes. Put the spaghetti in the pot and pour in the water. Bring to a boil, and as the spaghetti softens, gently push it into the pan to be submerged. Cook until the liquid is absorbed, using tongs to move the spaghetti around frequently to prevent sticking, more frequently closer to the end of cooking. If the liquid is mostly absorbed and the pasta is not yet al dente add a little more water and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed with just a light sauce clinging to the pasta. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice, then return the chorizo and shrimp the pot. Toss everything together to combine. Season well with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve immediately.