Cavatappi with Chorizo and Black Beans

The full, earthy Tex-Mex flavors of chorizo, black beans and chili blend perfectly, if somewhat unexpectedly, with corkscrew-shaped macaroni.

Plus: More Pasta Recipes and Tips

  • Servings: 4


  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 pound cured chorizo or other spicy hard sausage such as pepperoni, casings removed and sausage cut into thin slices
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound cavatappi
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and sauté until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and chili powder and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

  2. Add the chorizo, tomato paste, and broth to the pan and stir. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the black beans, the lime juice, and the salt and remove the pan from the heat.

  3. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the cavatappi until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain; toss with the sauce and parsley.


Test-Kitchen Tips

• For firm canned black beans rather than the usual mushy, overprocessed specimens, we prefer the Goya brand.

• If you use tomato paste in small quantities, consider buying a tube of one of the imported Italian brands. The tube lasts a long time in the refrigerator, just like anchovy paste, so you won't have to open a whole can for one or two tablespoons.

Suggested Pairing

A sparkling wine or crisp Sauvignon Blanc from California—or even a Mexican beer—is a good foil for this spicy dish.

Photo © Chas Plummer. Food styling by Alison Attenborough. Published June 2010

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