The spicy, smoky flavor of the Spanish chorizo in this dish is mellowed by the addition of sherry. When combined with plump jumbo shrimp and fresh tomatoes, you get a wonderful blend of ingredients that are perfect to toss together with spaghetti.
Key tips for making this recipe
- Add extra flavor to the pasta: Instead of discarding your shrimp shells immediately, use them to infuse some extra flavor into your spaghetti. Add the shells to your pasta cooking water, simmer (don’t boil) over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, then remove them with a slotted spoon and discard. Raise the heat to high, bring the water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions.
- Use Spanish chorizo: Our recipe calls for dry-cured Spanish chorizo, a flavorful sausage made with pork, garlic, and smoked paprika. The smoke flavor from the paprika is an important element of this dish, so if you can’t find Spanish chorizo, it’s okay to use another type of sausage, but be sure to add some smoked paprika separately.
- Use drinkable sherry: Always use “real” sherry, not the supermarket cooking variety. You don’t have to choose an expensive bottle, and for cooking purposes, you can keep it for quite a while in the refrigerator. We’re not sherry drinkers, but we always keep a bottle of medium sherry on hand for this recipe and a favorite chicken dish. Medium sherry is mildly sweet and adds a distinctive flavor to sauces and marinades.
More pasta and shrimp recipes
Pasta and shrimp just seem to go together perfectly. If you enjoy that combo as much as we do you might want to try one of these recipes too!
Spanish Spaghetti with Shrimp and Chorizo
- 1 lb jumbo shrimp, 16 to 20 per pound
- 2 ounces Spanish chorizo, diced
- 10 ounces thin spaghetti
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup medium sherry, not cooking sherry
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Set aside.
- Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add the diced chorizo. Sauté for 2 minutes, then add the onion.
- Continue cooking until the onion is soft and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes, then add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute longer.
- Add the sherry, bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the shrimp and cook until they begin turning opaque around the edges, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Be careful not to add too much salt as both the shrimp and the chorizo are already a bit salty.
- Continue cooking for an additional 2 to 3 minutes or until tomatoes soften slightly and the shrimp are cooked through
- Remove from the heat completely and cover to keep warm.
- Cook and drain the spaghetti according to package directions.
- Combine the spaghetti with the shrimp mixture, add the parsley and toss to combine.
- Adjust the seasoning if needed and serve immediately.