Spicy Chorizo Bolognese
Spicy Chorizo Bolognese is off the charts delicious. From now on, bolognese should always be made with chorizo. It's an easy to make and healthy dinner recipe that is naturally gluten-free.
I have a confession to make. My entire cooking life, I've been making bolognese sauce all wrong. And just for the record, it was only a couple of years ago that I stopped calling bolognese Spaghetti Sauce. ?
Here's the deal, it turns out that bolognese (that delicious combination of ground beef and tomato sauce simmered in spices and ladled over spaghetti pasta) MUST have chorizo in it. ? Who knew!
Full disclosure – I'm not Italian or a grandmother (I hope my picture gives that away) but I truly believe that bolognese should always be made with chorizo. I'm not talking about Chorizo Bolognese as if it is some special kind of sauce. It's just that when I say, “Hey, come over for dinner. I'm making bolognese.” You simply assume there'll be chorizo in it.
We make a lot of ‘spaghetti sauce' around here. When I first made chorizo bolognese, I didn't tell my handsome man that I did anything different. I mean, it really does look the same.
When he put the first bite (ladled over Barilla linguine) into his mouth, his eyes shot open and he spent the next several minutes telling me how good it was.
Chorizo bolognese is basically the best meat and tomato-based pasta sauce you've ever eaten. And since it's World Pasta Day coming up on October 25, I say we all make a giant pot and dig in. You with me?
When Barilla pasta wanted to team up on a recipe post, I was stoked to work with them. You'll often find their Blue Box sitting in our pantry waiting for a night when we need something quick and easy.
Here's the deal … with a box of Barilla pasta (or Barilla Gluten Free pasta) and a few pantry staples, you can have a delicious dinner ready in no time.
→ Onions + garlic + chorizo + tomato sauce = dinner!
→ Olive oil + garlic + parmesan = dinner!
→ Butter + garlic + kale + goat cheese = dinner!
→ Anchovies + capers + olives + tomato paste = dinner!
Do you see where this is going?
Pasta nights are also super easy to tweak to different diets and tastes, which is important in our home.
Last week, we were trying to figure out what to make for dinner. My handsome man's oldest daughter (Hi, Kaitlin!) is gluten-free vegan, so that can complicate things. Most of the time, I'm an eat-everything-arian, but sometimes I lean towards the paleo diet and I've now done the Whole30 Program twice. We've also got a 17- month-old to think about for dinner, too.
We're not exactly an easy bunch.
But here's the deal with Barilla pasta. It really can accommodate everyone at the table. Depending on the sauce you choose, it can make everyone happy.
That night, we opted for a parmesan cheese-free pesto sauce with cherry tomatoes. My handsome man and our daughter had their pesto on Barilla spaghetti and Kaitlin and I had ours on Barilla Gluten Free pasta
We sound like a complicated bunch, but Barilla pasta makes it easy for all of us to sit down to (more or less) the same meal at dinner.
Back to this Spicy Chorizo Bolognese
→ It's super easy to make. If you can saute some onions and garlic and put some chorizo and ground beef in a pan, you can make this. It's one of those recipes that is delicious enough to serve at a dinner party but easy enough to make as a weeknight meal. Love these kinds of recipes!
→ We've been over the delicious part, but I have to say it again. Chorizo bolognese has so much more flavor and totally kicks butt over regular bolognese. It has a subtle spiciness to it so everyone at the table can eat it. Truth: we sprinkle the top with chili flakes for extra heat.
→ The recipe makes eight moderate sized portions. I like to serve this with a big side salad, which makes it the perfect amount for us. I made the recipe a little larger than normal because the leftovers are awesome for lunch.
→ It freezes VERY well. Make a double portion and freeze half in a plastic freezer bag. The next time you're reaching for your phone to order in, open your freezer instead. You'll be much happier.
Enjoy your chorizo bolognese, my friends! For even more pasta inspiration, check out Barilla.ca.
More delicious pasta recipes
- Drunken Red Wine Spaghetti with Spicy Chorizo and Black Kale
- Sage Pumpkin Pasta Bake with Kale and Buttered Pecan
- Green Goddess Pasta Bowls
- Creamy One Pot Sun Dried Tomato Pasta
Spicy Chorizo Bolognese is off the charts delicious. From now on, bolognese should always be made with chorizo. It's an easy to make and healthy dinner recipe that is naturally gluten-free and can easily be made paleo + Whole30 compliant.
- 1 – 454 gram (16-ounce) package of Barilla Pasta (I like linguini, spaghetti or spaghettoni for this recipe)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus oil for the pasta
- 1 large onion, finely minced
- 3 anchovies packed in oil, minced (optional, see notes)
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 lb. fresh chorizo, removed from casings and crumbled (see notes)
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 – 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt, to taste
- Optional toppings: fresh mozzarella, grated parmesan, black pepper, parsley, chili flakes
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Barilla Pasta and cook for 8-9 minutes, until al dente. Drain the pasta using a colander then put the pasta back into the pot. Drizzle the pasta with olive oil and toss to coat.
- While the pasta water is heating, begin making the chorizo bolognese. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and let it cook until it is golden brown, about 6-7 minutes. Add the anchovies (if using) and the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes to let it caramelize.
- Add the chorizo and ground beef and let them cook through. Add the crushed tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and let the pot simmer gently for 10 minutes. Season to taste with sea salt.
- Serve the chorizo bolognese over the Barilla Pasta and top with any or all of the optional toppings.
The anchovies make this dish extra rich and delicious and I encourage you to use them. If you're really leery about them (or don't have any on hand) you can omit them.
For this recipe, you want to buy fresh, uncooked chorizo. It will look similar to a breakfast sausage, only red in color. Don't use cured Spanish chorizo.
I've placed this recipe in both the paleo and Whole30 categories, even though pasta is neither of those things. The sauce is compliant with both diets, but make sure to read labels on the chorizo if you're doing the Whole30.