Spanish Pasta With Chorizo and Tomatoes

Spanish Pasta With Chorizo and Tomatoes

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
544 Calories
36g Fat
36g Carbs
21g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 544
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 47%
Saturated Fat 10g 51%
Cholesterol 50mg 17%
Sodium 1165mg 51%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 66mg 330%
Calcium 80mg 6%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 858mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Although pasta isn't always associated with Spain, it is a fairly common staple on tables across the country. Its vicinity to Italy makes it the perfect place where both cuisines can blend, like in this flavorful recipe for pasta with chorizo. Both countries consider pasta to be a first course, rather than the main course, but this flavorful recipe yields four filling and generous servings.

Spanish chorizo is a spicy pork sausage that's garlicky and flavored with pimentón (paprika) and is a very specific ingredient that can't be replaced with Mexican chorizo, as they offer flavor profiles that are very distinct. Spanish chorizo is usually cured, whereas Mexican is sold raw. The closest approximation to the Spanish version would be a very spicy sausage that you can further flavor to with paprika, or Portuguese linguica sausage.

True Spanish chorizo can be found in most upscale supermarkets packed with specialty meats in the charcuterie and cheese section.

"The combination of chorizo and smoked paprika smelled and tasted heavenly. The sauce is very rich and flavorful. I tried it both with and without Manchego cheese and it tasted great either way. If you can't find Manchego, I believe Pecorino Romano or cheddar would also work well." —Tara Omidvar

Spanish Pasta With Chorizo and Tomatoes Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 medium yellow onion

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1/2 red bell pepper

  • 1 (8-ounce) Spanish semi-cured chorizo (case removed)

  • 1/4 cup  Spanish extra-virgin olive oil (divided)

  • 1 (24-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes (or 24 ounces of fresh pulsed tomatoes)

  • 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/2 pound penne (macaroni or spaghetti)

  • 1/4 cup shaved Manchego cheese

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Spanish Pasta With Chorizo and Tomatoes ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Peel and chop the onion into 1/4-inch chunks.

    chopped onions on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Peel and finely chop the cloves of garlic.

    chopped garlic on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Remove the seeds and veins from the pepper and dice.

    peppers on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Remove the case from the chorizo, if not already done—semi-cured and cured chorizos have an inedible case. Once peeled, cut the chorizo into round slices about 1/4-inch thick.

    sliced chorizo on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add about half of the olive oil. Once hot enough, sauté the onion, garlic, pepper, and chorizo slices in the pan. Stir often and be mindful that the smoking point of olive oil is different than other oils; when it begins to smoke, the flavor will change. If any ingredients begin sticking to the bottom of the pan, add the remaining olive oil.

    chorizo, onions, garlic and peppers cooking in a pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. Once the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes, add the crushed tomatoes.

    tomatoes added to the chorizo mixture in the pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  8. Sprinkle the paprika on the sauce. Lower the heat and cook on medium-low for 10 minutes, occasionally stirring.

    chorizo mixture cooking in a pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  9. Bring water for pasta to a rolling boil in a large pot while the sauce cooks.

    water boiling in a pot

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  10. Add a big pinch of salt to the boiling water and add the pasta. Cook until al dente and drain.

    pasta cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  11. Check on the sauce, tasting for seasoning, and add salt if necessary. Remove from heat.

    chorizo sauce cooking in a pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  12. Plate the pasta in individual serving bowls and add sauce on top of each. Alternatively, present the dish family-style in a big serving bowl. If using, add shaved cheese on top.

    Spanish Pasta With Chorizo and Tomatoes in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

What Else to Do with Chorizo Sauce?

Don't limit this sauce to serving over pasta. This delicious mixture can be incorporated into other flavorful recipes:

  • Sandwiches: Cut open a whole baguette and pour the sauce on top. Top with Manchego cheese or a big handful or Pecorino and bake at 350 F for 15 minutes. Slice the baguette in four sandwiches and serve.
  • Flatbread: Make individual flatbreads by topping four small naan breads with the sauce. Add a handful of sliced black olives on top of each naan and bake at 350 F for 10 minutes. Garnish with some fresh arugula and a few drops of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Crostini: Slice a whole baguette, spray with olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper, and bake at 350 F until crunchy. Top each crostini with a tablespoon of the sauce and serve as a small appetizer with some green and black olives on the side.