Chorizo with Cilantro Pesto Pasta

You know how it is when you just want to eat something different for dinner?  I have been in one of those moods.  I wanted it to be good and not take too long to cook.  Most of all, I wanted it to make my taste buds sing.  Yes…SING!

With the heat and the drought I have been missing my cilantro fresh from the garden.  I can get it at the grocer, but when it’s hot…its just doesn’t have the same flavor that it has when it grows more slowly.  Now that things are starting to cool down, the local cilantro has that crisp pungent flavor that I dearly love.

I am also lucky that our local grocer started making fresh chorizo about 2 years ago.  I has been a huge hit and has become a regular selection on the meat counter.  (I have never used the dried aged chorizo that I see talked about, so I cannot speak to how it would perform in this dish.)

This meal come together in about 45 minutes.  It is destined to be a regular in this household. The flavors are rounded out with almonds in the pesto, chickpeas (garbonzo beans), red peppers and red onions with the chorizo, and a nice dose of tangy feta cheese to bring everything together.  It really did make my taste buds sing.

You’ll need:

1 lb of fresh chorizo

1/2 of a large red onion, chopped

1 red sweet pepper, chopped

1 can (14oz) chickpeas (garbonzo beans), rinsed and drained

2 cup fresh cilantro (don’t worry about the stems-they taste just like the leaves)

1/2 cup whole almonds (roasted if you’ve got them)

2 large cloves garlic, peeled and quartered

1 Tsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 tsp Tabasco green sauce (or your favorite green sauce)

1/2 cup good olive oil (or more if needed)

1 pkg rotini, cooked according to package directions

3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Put a large pot of water onto boil.  When water begins to boil, add 1 Tsp salt (if desired) and add pasta.
Cook until al dente.  Drain and return to pot.

While your waiting for the water to boil….

In a medium sized skillet, brown chorizo over medium heat.  Chop onion and red pepper.  Add to chorizo while it is browning.  When chorizo is cooked, drain excess fat and add chickpeas to skillet.  Reduce heat and let simmer on your lowest setting.

In your food processor, combine cilantro, almonds, garlic, salt, pepper, hot sauce, and balsamic vinegar.  Place lid on processor and turn on low speed.  Add olive oil while processor is running until pesto has a medium-thick consistency.  Set aside.

When pasta is cooked and drained, add chorizo and vegatables, followed by pesto sauce.  Stir to coat.  Add feta cheese and stir again.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

3 thoughts on “Chorizo with Cilantro Pesto Pasta

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