Ever been to Portugal? I recently landed a PR and Editorial Director position with the Kite Surf Pro tour and so I’m heading to the first tour stop soon: spectacular Guincho Beach in Portugal. Yes, I know you’re crying for me right now – my job is tough but I will persevere! To prepare my stomach for the trip, I started experimenting with traditional Portuguese and Spanish cooking methods and flavors, only with a meat-free twist. Oh meu deus, I found a winning combination!
I think you’re going to like this quick, simple, healthy and incredibly tasty dish: silky Portugese style pasta with toasted almonds and soy chorizo. What’s silky pasta? It’s damn good, that’s what it is! By sautéing dry pasta and then allowing it to absorb a flavored wine sauce, it creates a silky, almost creamy texture that’s rich, flavorful and melt-in-your-mouth good. Pasta normally doesn’t do anything for me, but this is spectacular and now I’m in love with it. Plus, the soy chorizo imparts a fantastic smoky flavor and the toasted almonds give the dish a surprisingly satisfying and interesting crunch. My carnivore husband also loves this dish so much that it’s going into our rotation, and I love it since it’s delicious and fast to make. Ole!
So take a trip to Portugal with me…with your taste buds. I think you’ll really like this, and I guarantee that it’ll totally change the way you look at pasta. It’s muito excelente!
Silky Portuguese Style Pasta with Toasted Almonds and Soy Chorizo
From fridge to table: 30 minutes
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup white wine (a dry wine, like sauvignon blanc, is best)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp saffron, dissolved in a tablespoon of hot water
7 cloves garlic, sliced
3/4 cup (or about 6 oz) soy chorizo cut into small pieces (I use soyrizo and it works great in this dish)
1 yellow onion, finely diced
12 oz thin spaghetti (such as angel hair), broken into 2 to 3 inch pieces
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup whole almonds, toasted
* 1 cup cooked chickpeas – optional
Heat a medium pot and pour in water, wine, broth, salt and saffron. Bring to a boil then reduce to the lowest setting on your range to keep warm.
In a large pot, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat and sauté garlic for 30 seconds. Remove the garlic and set aside. Add the soy chorizo and brown it, which should take about 3 minutes. It may break apart, which is fine. Remove from pot and set aside with the garlic. Sauté the onion until it’s translucent and golden brown, about 4 minutes, then add the broken pasta and sauté until the pasta turns golden – about 5 minutes. Add the hot wine/broth mixture, cover the pot and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, which should take about 5-6 minutes. Stir well then add the parsley, the chickpeas if you’re using them (I’d say use them only if you are in love with chickpeas – the dish doesn’t totally need them) and a little salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and serve hot. Comer feliz! (Which I think is Portuguese for bon appetite…either that or ‘come here, Felix.’)