Pesto Pasta with Chorizo
This quick savory pasta gets great flavor from spicy chorizo (but feel free to use any other sausage you like). It's loaded with green vegetables from zucchini ribbons and kale pesto!
- Pecan halves - 1/4 cup
- Chorizo (sub other sausage of choice) - 6 oz
- Zucchini - 1/2 lb
- Spaghetti (sub linguini) - 6 oz
- Kale pesto (half of recipe below) - 1/2 cup
- Pecan halves - 1/4 cup
- Kale leaves (sub fresh basil or arugula) - 5 oz
- Garlic - 1 clove, peeled
- Cheese, feta - 1 oz
- Honey - 1 tsp
- Olive oil - 4 Tbsp, plus extra if needed
- Toast pecans - Toast pecans (both the pasta and pesto portions) in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, ~5 minutes. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make pesto - Combine half the toasted pecans (save the other half to sprinkle over the finished pasta), kale, garlic, feta and honey in a food processor. Pulse until ingredients are well chopped. With food processor running, drizzle in olive oil until smooth (pesto should be thick but spreadable). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Since kale can be a bit bitter, add additional honey, if needed. Reserve half for Wednesday’s dinner. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Roughly chop chorizo. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Make zucchini ribbons / noodles - Peel zucchini into ribbons or use a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles. Transfer to a colander and lightly salt.
- Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Salt generously and add pasta. When pasta is nearly al dente (tender but not soggy), add zucchini and continue boiling until pasta is finished, ~1 minute. Use a measuring cup to reserve 1 cup / 235 mL of pasta water (amount for 4 servings; adjust accordingly if customizing servings). Drain.
- While pasta is cooking, place a skillet over medium heat. Add chorizo and saute until chorizo is cooked through, ~6 minutes. Add pasta and pesto (remember to save half the pesto for Wednesday) to the chorizo and toss to combine. Add the reserved pasta water 1/4 cup (59 mL) at a time until a smooth sauce forms. Season with some salt and pepper.
- Transfer pasta to serving plates and top with the reserved pecans. Enjoy!
Made with regular sausage0 Helpful
The sauce is incredible!! Loved this dish. I made it for 4 servings, but with the modifications I made below, this could easily serve 6. I used a whole package of organic kale, and it worked really well. Managed to get the whole thing chopped up in my food processor along with the other ingredients. I made a couple modifications. I used 20oz of lean turkey sausage since this dish needed more protein, and I'd rather use up the whole package of sausage instead of having leftovers. I also subbed in 12oz of fresh linguine and nixed the zucchini ribbons since I was short on time. In the future, I would like to try the zucchini ribbons. The pecan garnish was on point - do not skip!0 Helpful
Next time, combine sausage and pesto and water before adding pasta so it's easier to make the sauce. I want to try this with Italian sausage, too. But the chorizo was yummy.0 Helpful
Interesting combination of flavors...I'm debating.0 Helpful
I cut the pesto with a dollop of fat free greek yogurt, which gave it all a nice creamy quality. Did traditional basil pesto instead of the kale. Otherwise stuck to the recipe. Delish!0 Helpful
I seriously can't stop making this. I love these flavors together! The pecans are so perfect with this.0 Helpful