Friday, July 04, 2008

Chori-Gamba Pasta

We all have our favoured pasta sauce camp. There is the cream sauce camp. The tomato-based camp. And the olive oil-based camp. Although I am mostly an equal opportunity pasta enjoyer, I pretty much stand with the olive oil-based sauce camp (greedily taking butter-based and pesto-based in with me as “sub-camps”). C meanwhile is steadfastly entrenched in the tomato-based camp...a pasta sauce monogamist.

Now, we all know that marriage is about give and take, about finding compromises and happy mediums. People talk of the “big commitment”, and the “big decisions”, and the “big changes”, and yes, that is all definitely important and should be given a good amount of thought. But don’t ignore the small things. Not even the itty, bitty, tiny things. Oh no. These are important as well. Teeny tiny bits swept under a rug grow into nasty creatures I tell you.

So in the spirit of compromise amongst the little things, I put together this pasta dish. Pairing chorizo and gambas in pasta in not that novel an idea over here, but it’s usually done as an oil-based sauce, not a tomato-based one. I added the tomato thinking to make a version more to C’s liking (although chorizo and gambas is already much to C’s liking...and mine!) and ended up loving it myself!

Pay attention to the little things. They can lead to the most delicious resolutions.

Our Chori-Gamba Pasta Sauce
  • Olive oil
  • 150 grams shrimp (weight peeled without heads and tails)
  • 130-150 grams chorizo for cooking (your favourite type), taken out of its casings
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped (this is supposed to be garlicky but feel free to reduce the number)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, leaves and stems
  • A glug of red wine (about 1/8 cup)
  • A scant 1/2 teaspoon pimentón de la vera
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 1 400-gram can crushed/chopped tomatoes
  • A small handful of basil leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper and salt

- Sprinkle shrimp with some salt.
- Heat olive oil in a saucepan. When hot add garlic, onions, parsley, and chilli and sauté until onions are soft.
- Add shrimp, pimentón, and pepper. Toss lightly until shrimps are just colored then remove shrimps (leaving everything else) from pan and set aside. Do not over-cook the shrimps!
- Add chorizo to the pan and sauté (making sure to de-clump the meat) until cooked. De-glaze the pan with wine.
- Add the tomatoes and simmer until thick and pulpy. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Remove from the heat and stir through shrimp and basil.
- Serves 2. We prepare 200-250 grams (uncooked weight) spaghetti or linguini noodles for this.

The tomatoes make this dish less oily-feeling than the tomato-less version and the greens give it a sharp, bright flavour that brilliantly cuts through that richness of the chorizo and the pungency of the garlic. I use all the parsley, leaves and stem. Parsley stems are so underutilized! I never throw them away. The chopped up stems can be used in sautés (add them with the onion and garlic – they give a nice bright “green” punch) and the whole stems in stocks. Freeze them if you’re not using them immediately. If I don’t have parsley, I have also used gotu kola stems in this recipe and they worked fine.

I still make oil and pesto based pastas (of course!), but usually for lunch, when C is at the office. I’ll sometimes spring one on him, and he’ll give the requisite MMM although I can tell that it’s different from his tomato-sauce MMM (or his adobo MMM). But that’s fine. Give and take can taste good with a little creativity :)

This pasta’s for you C! There is more where this came from so watch out...I’m planning to get a lot more MMM’s out of you yet! :) There is no one else I’d rather be give-and-taking with! Happy birthday!!!


Manggy said...

I can never get those in the cream sauce camp. They should be suppressed!!! Suppressed!!! (Kidding... I'm all for freedom... Just don't serve me cream-sauced pasta and we'll be fine.)

While I'm not firmly in the tomato sauce camp, I do have a tendency to prefer it unless I feel like I need a tongue-break. I love healthy balance you've struck here :) And with chorizo AND shrimp, two very good things indeed, yum!

glamah16 said...

Those camps. Impartial to olive oil and tomato, my guy loves cream. Your dish is wonderful pairing, like you two I suppose.

Mochachocolata Rita said...

i am a huge fan of cream based pasta sauce (this explains my weight) but i love super tasty tomato based ones too :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

This pasta dish is wonderful and ever so flavorful! It contains everything I love!



katrina said...


I enjoy all kinds of pasta sauces, but like you, I more often choose oil-based ones (and OF COURSE butter and pesto are in the same camp). I think the crustacean-sausage combo is one of the most perfect pairings! I bought some chorizo from Salcedo Market last Saturday that was really good, and better yet, isn't stuffed into casings -- perfect for dishes like this. We loved the chorizo so much that I was already planning to buy it again, precisely to make pasta with it (we'd made chorizo & egg fried rice). I was just trying to decide what to combine it with. Thanks for reminding me of this!

lobstersquad said...

I´m the one in the couple who would happily eat every dish of pasta with just tomato sauce. I bet J would love this, though. Must try.

ChichaJo said...

Manggy,, now! ;) A lot of goodness can also be found down the cream path...especially with smoked salmon and caviar (or some chanterelles!) :) I like how “balanced” this turned out as well!

Hi Glamah16! Thanks :) After olive oil based, I like tomato next, then cream...but I’ll eat them all :)

Hi Mochachocolata Rita! So cream based sauces are actually slimming? Your weight is fine! :) Loving pasta explains my weight too ;)

Hi Rosa! Thanks! :)

Hi Katrina! I have passed on the greetings and he says thanks :) Love your vehemence on butter and pesto being in the same camp as oil-based! :) Crustacean and sausage, surf and turf, I love it too! From whom did you buy the chorizo?

Hi Ximena! It’s the best of both worlds :)

Meeta said...

I am a mix of olive oil and tomato based! But the lusciously look over to the cream camp every now and then LOL!

I love pasta with seafood. and this is spectacular. You'll like the JO recipe I posted a long while back too.


Miguel said...

Wow as usual this looks very yummy....yet again another recipe I have to try

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Allegiances declared: olive oil/wine sauces preferred, tomato sauces second preference, and the cream sauces only if the other ingredients are "worthy."

Gamba and chorizo are great together and this looks like a great pasta dish.

LyB said...

You've struck a chord with me here Joey! I love pasta, shrimp and chorizo, combine the three and oh, what an awesome looking dish! Thanks so much for sharing!

Oh, and I gave you an award; please check it out here

mtan said...

Belated birthday greetings to C!

I love me some tomato sauce too on my noodles, then oil-based, followed by cream (and only if it's got tons of garlic in that cream).

Thanks for the parsley section, I have to admit that I do toss the stems, but I will change my ways, oh wise one.

Pamela said...

Looks juicy and delicious!

Happy Birthday!

Shandy said...

I love the sauce camp forum! Great conversation to take with me when talking to my family. We are all divided. . .but we all love to experiment so this leads to great fun! Your pasta looks delicious and I just have to try this recipe this week! Living on the coast, seafood is a must for meals =D

ChichaJo said...

Hi Meeta! Checked out the JO recipe...yum!!! Thanks for the heads up :)

Hi Guel! Hope you like it! :)

Hi JS! Nice to know your “allegiances” are similar to mine :)

Hi Lyb! Thank you for the award!!! I am very flattered that you would think of me :) As for pasta – these are some of my very favourite ingredients too :)

Hi M! Will pass on your greetings to C :) Finely chopped parsley stems are punchy added in when you make gisa garlic/onions...and the whole ones get tied together for stocks. Actually, I save all my stems and odd veg bits for stock in a big ziplock in the freezer :)

Thanks Pamela! :)

Hi Shandy! “Living on the coast”...yes, take advantage and enjoy the seafood! Always interesting to mix preferences from everyone in the family and see what comes up :)

Dhanggit said...

oh my this is like paella pasta to me!! delicious!! i'll definitley try this!!

Veron said...

Joey! I'm drooling over my keyboard right now. Two of my favorite things in are killing me here!

christine said...

Yum! I love chori-gamba pasta and make it often, but haven't made it in a tomato-based sauce. Though I'm sure I'd love it as well, since like you, I'm an equal-opportunity pasta eater. :) How was C's head Sunday morning?

Jen Tan said...

a tomato camp member here! =) hahaha my sub camps are oils and pestos..and beurre ....

that is a lovely marriage of tomato-oil camps on chori and shrimps!!! yummmmmmmm I can imagine the flavors..not I AM CRAVING FOR PASTA =P HAHAHA

Suzana said...

Joey, you're so right about the little things making a huge difference. Absolutely have to try this out! I love the chori-gamba idea - my hubby will love it as well.

Happy belated Birthday, C!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Dhanggit! Paella pasta...what a fantastic name! :)

Hi Veron! These are two of our favourite things as well...which is why they’ve been thrown in the pot together :)

Hi Nens! Many things have been transformed to their tomato-based versions in this house! ;) We slept in F’s house then got up at 10am to go home! Of course, first order of the day was to fill our tummies...and then we slept most of the afternoon away! :)

Hi Jen! This is simple to make – basically a combination of gambas al ajillo and sautéed it with lots of bread for cleaning your plate! :)

Hi Suzana! I really do believe that bit of advice...Hope you guys enjoy the pasta! Thank you from C! :)

mikky said...

i'll definitely try this because i'm sure hubby will love me extra more for it... ha ha... thanks for sharing...

Helen said...

I don't care what pasta camp this falls into - it looks really, really delicious. I bet those prawns are s juicy!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

What a delightful way to talk about the give and take of marriage and life Joey!! I'm sure this is a delightful pasta!!

katrina said...

The chorizo stall is on the left side when you've got the Tordesillas gate behind you. It's a few stalls away from Vargas Kitchen, very near the crepe stall. It's run by a couple -- the woman pitches the chorizo (which she makes), and her husband pitches the coffee. (Hey, yet another example of compromise in marriage!) I love that the chorizo is still durog, so I don't have to do it myself, since we most often like to cook it that way. I got their card:

Tong Coffee
Ike & Narda Miranda
722-2894, 0927-529-2388

canDIshhh said...

Olive Oil & Tomato Camp - PRESENT!!

My fiance hates cream though! Hahaha.. :) He's partial to Olive Oil - but somehow, I'm breaking him in on the cream :)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Mikky! You’re welcome! I hope he and you like it! :)

Hi Helen! Thanks :) The prawns (actually shrimps) are nice and juicy because I pull them right out as soon as they get color :)

Hi Tanna! Compromise does not have to be as unpalatable as it sounds ;) I mean, it’s not all hearts and roses but it’s not all ball and chain either :) And somewhere in the blessed mid-zone lies pasta moments like these :)

Hi Katrina! Thanks!!! I know that mom buys coffee from them and I think we tasted their fabada once (they have ready-made dishes too right?)...will check out their chorizo! I’m of the firm belief that one can’t have too many chorizo sources :)

Hi Candishhh! Cream is C’s least favourite too!

Haley said...

We would like to feature this recipe on our blog. Please email if interested. Thanks :)


Sakai said...

as usual, nice looking dish.. :)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Haley! Wow! I’m flattered :) I’ll email you!

Hi Sakai! Thank you!

allaboutattitude said...

Looks so appetizing

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Allaboutattitude! :)