This Chili Pasta with Crispy Chorizo Crumb is the perfect dinner when you want spicy and comfort in one bowl.
The pasta is dressed with delicious and easy chili and garlic oil, then topped with crispy chorizo crumbs. The chorizo crumbs are crispy, crunchy, and flavor-packed topping, which is so easy to make!
If you are a spice lover, then this Chili Pasta is sure to be a hit! Add a green salad, a glass of beer, and have a great evening meal!
Buying chorizo for your pasta
There are two types of chorizo sausage, and both work well here. They just need treating a little differently, depending on which you buy.
MEXICAN CHORIZO - This is raw like standard ground meat. It is sometimes sold in a sausage shape or a tray like ground beef. If you have Mexican chorizo for the recipe, then when you fry it off, you will want to use a spatula, or potato masher, to really break the ground chorizo up into small pieces.
SPANISH CHORIZO - This is a harder chorizo as it is cured (or semi-cured). To use this in the recipe, you need to chop it up into tiny pieces before you cook it. I find this easiest to do in my food processor. This gives you a fine chorizo crumb. If not, then use a knife to get it as small as you can.
Making the chili garlic oil
When you cook chorizo, it releases its flavorful oil. This oil is packed with flavor, and we are going to use it as the basis for the chili and garlic oil.
To do this, place the chorizo in a cold skillet/frying pan and turn the heat to medium. If you are using Mexican/ground chorizo, this is the time that you want to really break the sausage meat up.
As the chorizo heats up, it will release its red paprika spiked oil. Crisp the chorizo and then use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pan, leaving behind the oil.
Turn the heat to very low and add extra olive oil and then the chopped garlic and chili. These need cooking over very low heat. The idea is to infuse the oil with the flavors. If the heat is too high, the garlic will burn and give you a very bitter taste. This takes 3-4 minutes. After this time, the oil is ready and can be taken off the heat ready for the pasta.
Pasta: You want to pick a flatish pasta shape rather than a tubular shape. Farfalle (bowties) works well here as it has a few nooks and crannies for the oil to sink into. Remember before you drain your pasta to reserve 2 cups of the pasta cooking water.
Chorizo: Like mentioned above, Mexican or Spanish chorizo will work for this recipe.
Garlic: This wants to be chopped quite finely, so it cooks quickly.
Chili: I like red chili, but red or green works well. Pick a chili that has some heat to it like jalapeno or Fresno. If you like it very spicy, then you can pick a hotter chili pepper or add more to the oil.
Oregano: If you can find it fresh oregano is the perfect herb to add to this dish, it works with the smokey chorizo and the chili garlic mix. If it is unavailable, then fresh basil or parsley works well too.
What to serve with Chili Pasta
Dessert: Rather than picking a side dish for this Chili Pasta with Crispy Chorizo Crumb, opt for a refreshing and cooling dessert like a sweet apple sorbet or a zesty lemon meringue ice cream.
Wine: As with all spicy foods, you want to avoid oaky wines or wines with a very high alcohol percentage. Pick a light red like a Zinfandel or Valpolicella Ripasso, both of these will combine well with the spicy chorizo. But my favorite wine pairing with spicy chili pasta is an off-dry sparkling wine. An Asti, Moscato, or Vinho Verde will work fabulously.
More pasta recipe that you may love:
- Creamy Chicken Chili Pasta
- Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
- Creamy Tomato Chicken and Chorizo Pasta
- Easy Garlic Bacon Pasta
- Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable Pasta
- Lemon Pepper Chicken Pasta
- See all 60+ Pasta Recipes
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Chili Pasta with Crispy Chorizo Crumb
- 7 oz chorizo -see note 1
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 oz pasta -see note 2
- 3 fresh red chilies -see note 3
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano -see note 4
For Mexican Chorizo/Ground Chorizo (see note 1)
- Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a cold skillet/frying pan. Add the chorizo and use a spatula, or potato masher, to really break the ground chorizo up into small pieces.
- Cook over medium-high heat until the chorizo is crispy. Continue breaking the meat up until you have small pieces of chorizo.
- Once crispy, remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon and place it on some absorbent kitchen paper. Leave the oil in the pan.
For Spanish Chorizo/Semi Cured Chorizo (see note 1)
- Remove any casing from the chorizo and then cut it into rough chunks.
- Place the chorizo in a food processor and pulse chop it until it is in small pieces. Or use a knife to chop it very finely.
- Pour the olive oil into a cold skillet, add the chorizo and cook over medium-high heat until it is crispy.
- Remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon and place it on some absorbent kitchen paper. Leave the oil in the pan.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil, salt it generously (1 tbsp) and add the pasta. Cook as per the packet instructions. Reserve two cups of the pasta cooking water and then drain.
- While the pasta is cooking, finely chop 2 chilies and then peel and finely chop 3 garlic cloves.
- Add the extra virgin olive oil to the chorizo oil, add the chili and garlic. Place over very low heat and cook slowly for 3-4 minutes.
- Once cooked and drained, add the pasta to the oil along with a ¼ cup of the cooking water.
- Stir well until everything is well coated, adding more water if needed.
- Stir through the 1 tablespoon of fresh oregano and serve immediately topped with the chorizo crumb.
- Mexican or Spanish chorizo will work for this recipe. Follow the correct instructions for your type of chorizo. (See bulk of post for more information)
- You want to pick a flatish pasta shape rather than a tubular shape. Farfalle (bowties) works well here as it has a few nooks and crannies for the oil to sink into. Remember before you drain your pasta to reserve 2 cups of the pasta cooking water.
- I like red chili, but red or green works well. Pick a chili that has some heat to it like jalapeno or Fresno. If you like it very spicy, then you can pick a hotter chili pepper or add more to the oil.
- If you can find it fresh oregano is the perfect herb to add to this dish, it works with the smokey chorizo and the chili garlic mix. If it is unavailable, then fresh basil or parsley works well too.