While I love a hearty, thick and spicy tomato based sauce or bolognese that’s been simmering for hours, you can’t always swing that kind of time during the week, and sometimes you just want something a bit lighter and quicker. In swoops this clear sauce consisting of olive oil, white wine, pasta water and lemon juice with all your delicious add-ins. I actually really love clear sauces, they’re smooth and light, quick to make and a great way to highlight really beautiful ingredients.
Ok so chorizo isn’t something that I normally keep around, but I got super excited at Bosa Foods the other week and now the chorizo has been sitting in my fridge waiting to be used up. I thought that the clear sauce would be nice with it since chorizo is super rich, and the smokiness and spice goes really well with the mild, sweet peas. If you don’t have chorizo, you can substitute it with any other spicy sausage, ham or bacon which would also compliment the peas beautifully, or just eliminate the meat completely and simply do a pea pasta! I seriously suggest the lemon because the acidity helps to cut through the richness of the chorizo and the zest adds an extra bit of freshness.
Why add the pasta water to the sauce? The starchiness of the pasta water thickens your sauce, make it richer and helps the sauce stick to your pasta. Especially important when you’re making such simple clear sauces is to keep a few tablespoons of the pasta water to add into your dish! Trust me!
Since this dish is so simple, you’ll want to make sure you use good quality ingredients – delicious wine (sorry Naked Grape, you have no place here!), good parmesan cheese (not the dried stuff in the shaker off the shelf), fresh garlic, good chorizo, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and a really nice tasting pasta! The ingredients don’t have anything to hide under here so the better quality the individual ingredients, the better the dish will taste!
Peas and pasta are a classic spring combination and putting this together gives you a pasta dish that is:
- Slightly sweet from the peas;
- The right amount of spicy;
- Fresh tasting and zingy from the lemon;
- Made in under 30 minutes; and
- Super simple;
Best served with your favourite white wine that you probably and hopefully used to make the sauce! (Mine is Quails Gate Dry Riesling)
Pea & Chorizo Pasta
- 4.5 ounces chorizo sausage (substitute with any other spicy sausage, ham or bacon if desired, or leave out completely)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 cup frozen peas (or fresh)
- 3 tbsp white wine (preferably dry, not too sweet!)
- 3 tbsp water
- 1/2 lemon, juice and zest
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups of your favourite pasta (depending on how you like your sauce to pasta ratio!)
- 4-6 tbsp reserved pasta water (depending on the kind of pasta you use!)
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish, to taste
In a skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, chorizo, garlic, onion, and basil. Cook for about 3- 5 minutes or until nice and golden brown. Stir occasionally.
Cook the pasta by bringing a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add in a pinch of salt and pasta. Cook according to package directions until pasta is al dente. Remember to reserve a few tablespoons of the pasta water once it’s cooked!
To the chorizo mixture, add frozen peas, white wine and 3 tbsp water. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.
Once peas are cooked, toss in the reserved pasta water, cooked pasta, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt & pepper. (If you find the sauce is dry, add in more of the reserved pasta water. The amount depends on the kind of pasta you used!). Toss well to get all the pasta and goodies coated!
Plate the pasta and garnish with a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese.