A few weeks ago, I thought to myself “I really must start exploring a world beyond Spanish chorizo.” I didn’t say it out loud of course (my husband would file for divorce), but I had the thought. So, what was on the menu this week? Rigatoni with Portuguese chouico, which I’m pretty sure is the Portuguese version of Spanish chorizo. Just looked on Wikipedia, and yep, that’s what it is.
Here’s what really happened. I knew I had some scallops in the freezer and I knew I wanted use them in a pasta. So, I planned out a nice pancetta & scallop pasta with radicchio. While I’m sure that would have been lovely, my grocery store was out of pancetta. Sure, I could have used bacon, but they only had Oscar Meyer and I’m a snob. Right above that flabby Oscar Meyer bacon was a package of hot Portuguese chourico, so I grabbed that instead.
Since you can’t really go wrong with chorizo of any nationality, the pasta turned out really well. I especially liked the radicchio in this dish. It was browned and added a nice bitter contrast to the sweet tomatoes and scallops. It was also done in under 20 minutes. The only downside was all the dishes (cutting board, bowl, skillet, pot, colander, etc.), but really that’s more of my husband’s concern.
Portuguese chourico, Scallop & Radicchio Rigatoni
Feel free to play around with the Chourico. You can use hot Spanish chorizo, pancetta, bacon or even hot Italian sausages. Whatever you have on hand is good, so long as it’s in the spicy/smoky meat category.
1 lb. whole wheat rigatoni
2 tsp. olive oil
8 oz. Hot Portuguese Chourico, coarsely chopped
1 small head of Radicchio, thinly sliced
8 oz. bay scallops*
14 oz. Fire-Roasted tomatoes (Muir Glen)
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
Parmesan cheese for grating
Set a pot of water to boil for cooking the rigatoni. Once it boils, salt the water and add the pasta. Cook until al dente, then drain.
While the pasta is cooking, set a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add 1 tsp. of the oil and the chourico. Cook for about 5 minutes until the edges begin to brown, then add the radicchio. Continue cooking until the radicchio is wilted, browned and slightly crisp at the edges. When that happens, remove the chourico and radicchio to a bowl (you want them to maintain their crisp brown texture).
Add the remaining 1 tsp of oil to the skillet along with the scallops. Cook the scallops, stirring continuously, until they turn opaque. Add the tomatoes and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan to release the browned bits, then add the sherry vinegar and continue to simmer for 2 minutes. Return the chourico and radiccio to the pan.
Toss the pasta with everything in the skillet and serve in a bowl topped with a generous helping of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
*I used frozen bay scallops from Whole Foods. They’re smaller than sea scallops, but also less expensive. I’d stick with bay scallops for this dish because you don’t want to overpower a nice, big sea scallop with tomatoes and spices.