Chorizo Penne Carbonara

A delicious intersection of paella Valenciana and spaghetti carbonara, two of my favorite comfort foods. Fun to make and packed with healthy veggies, without compromising on rich texture and flavors, it’s a great graduation from mac and cheese. Combining Salvador N19 and Dali N20 greatly reduces both prep time and the ingredient list, letting you make this meal in minutes.

Salvador N.19 & Dali N.20 – Recipe by Christian Leue

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

4          ounces hard Spanish chorizo, 1/4 inch dice (hot or mild as you prefer)
1          medium onion, 1/2 inch dice
2          large yellow squash (seeded, 1/2 inch dice)
½        pound penne
3          Tbsp olive oil
2          ounces finely grated viejo manchego (or 50:50 parmigiano:pecorino)
2          whole eggs plus 1 yolk, beaten
Salt

1/2 tsp Dali and 1/2 tsp Salvador
-or for an approximation-
1/4       tsp (pimentón) smoked paprika
1/4       tsp granulated garlic
2           tsp clam juice
1           big pinch saffron
1           small pinch cayenne
1/4       tsp fresh lemon zest

Instructions

1. Boil 3 quarts water and 2 tablespoons salt in a large pot, add the penne and stir well.

2. Beat the eggs and cheese together with the Salvador (or saffron and lemon zest).

3. Add the oil to a deep skillet over medium high heat, add the chorizo pieces and cook for 2-3 minutes, add the onion and squash and Dali (or paprika, garlic, and clam juice) and cover for 5 minutes, remove cover and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes more, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

4. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water and drain the penne. Add the penne to your skillet and remove from heat. While stirring, add the beaten eggs and cheese, continue to mix well, the goal is to coddle the eggs with the residual heat in the pasta, which results in a smooth sauce. If the sauce ends up too thick, thin with some of the pasta water.

5. Serve immediately. Can be topped with additional spice or cheese, as desired.

Notes:
-For finely grated cheese use the smallest holes on a box grater or a fine microplane.
-Seeding the squash is crucial to avoid a mushy dish, you can save the innards and ends to make a cream soup with later.

Stay seasonal

Late Fall/Winter: try butternut squash and kale, boil 2 cups squash (1/2 inch dice) with the pasta (step 1), sauté the chorizo and onions as above (minus the summer squash), when you get to the point where you remove the cover, add 2 cups torn kale (step 3)

Late Winter/Spring: substitute 2 cups of cauliflower florets for the summer squash (step 3), and add 1/2 cup frozen baby peas once you reach the point in (step 3) where you remove the cover.

Late Spring/Summer: substitute 2 cups asparagus (cut in 1-inch lengths) for the summer squash, and add 1/2 cup fresh peas once you reach the point in (step 3) where you remove the cover.

Fun to try

With any of the above, add 1 1/2 cups poached seafood of your choice and 1/4 cup piquillo peppers and finish with smoked salt N.8 for a paella carbonara with great outdoor flavors.

Food image and recipe © Christian Leue. Questions? Contact christian@laboiteny.com