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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pasta with chorizo and green olives...

In our home, my husband loves chorizo--a traditional Mexican, spicy, seasoned sausage. Unfortunately, his high cholesterol numbers do not. Chorizo is notoriously high in fat, pork fat. Well, we are a team in managing his cholesterol, so I am ever on a quest to make things that he loves into a version that can be enjoyed on a "whenever-I-feel-like-it" basis. This chorizo is one of them.
Traditionally eaten cooked in a pan, with scrambled eggs mixed in, then eaten with corn tortillas, this is a non-traditional use of it for dinner. It is a little "Mexico-meets-Italy" and its delicious!!
First: the chorizo recipe. This recipe is lean, and full of robust spices that are good for you! So you can feel great about eating it! The spices are good for the immune system and are anti-inflamatory. The tomatoes pack a lycopene punch--a poweful cancer fighting antioxident.

Chorizo Recipe | Don't fuss over this recipe, if you don't have something, substitute or leave out. If the package of meat is over or under by a little a pound, still use it without adjsuting seasonings.

1 pound of ground turkey , or chicken breast or lean pork
1 tbs chili powder
1 tbs California sweet paprika
1 tbs. California sweet paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (for mild), 1 tsp. (for hot) (optional if you prefer less heat)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. cumin seeds, or ground cumin
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp dried minced garlic
4 tbs. olive oil
4 tbs. red wine vinegar

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with a fork until well blended. Cover and let the chorizo sit in the fridge overnight.

For the unconventional use of this in a pasta dish, here is how I do it:

1/2 lb GF pasta noodles, spaghetti (best brand ever!)
1 cup of the chorizo meat
1/2 cup sliced green olives
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes in their juices.
Some fresh basil leaves

Cook your pasta. In the meantime, cook chorizo in a pan over medium high heat. When meat is cooked through, add the can of diced tomatoes and stir until warmed through. Add olives and then throw in some basil.
Drain the pasta, then toss it in the sauce, and serve.

Its smoky, and spicy, and has tastes very rich, even though it is not. The olives give a salty-tang that cuts through the richness to give it good balance. Its needs a fresh herb at the end, so if you don't have basil, use parsley.

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