Winter Pasta with Chorizo

by Michael on February 3, 2012 · 11 comments

When we walked through our house, at the time merely a sales tool for future models, we tripped over all the adjectives used to describe it. With every partnership the priorites and necessities change. We all have our favourite part of the house, mine of course being the kitchen. The first time we walked to the back of the house and into the kitchen, W looked at me with that infectious smile knowing full well it was the kitchen and set up I had always dreamed about. That smile came back when she saw the ensuite and other parts of the house. Smitten. But there was one little thing.

The house we ended up buying and moving into a year and a half ago had a few causes for concern. Most of those concerns were completely overlooked at the time of our viewing. Or successive viewings. Yes, there were many of them. The size of the lot and driveway was a selling point for us. We had enough property in the city to give us space from our neighbours. The house was big enough for future additions and more. And our driveway holds 4 vehicles, comfortably. Great, right? Well.

Emotions sometimes drive your decisions. Yes, this was an emotional purchase. But it was also thought out. Mostly. It wasn’t long after we unpacked and moved in that W noticed just how much longer it took her to clean the house. And she likes a clean house. I help with the kitchen and downstairs but the time is still consuming. That extra room? Not so advantageous when it comes to keeping it looking new. And that driveway? There’s one thing.

We saw the home in the summe and moved in during the spring. We enjoyed spring and summer and fall. With protected green space behind our house, we had a firsthand view of the changing of the seasons. The trees and forest undergo a transformation that’s majestic. Fall was particularly vivid and specatacular, with the amber and burnt orange leaves falling gingerly onto our yard. But, like seasons are want to do, fall one day abruptly ended and the cold front moved in.

The first sign of snow and the impending winter holidays was cause for celebration. We both find rain and snowfall rather romantic. W eagerly awaiting the change to decorate the house and unpack our winter boxes to give the house a new life fitting the season. The first light snow soon became the first heavy snowfall. A twist of fate.

Our driveaway, a great selling feature many months before, now became the stumbling block for my warmth and happiness. And the impending shovelling was longer, more gruelling and yes, at times, back breaking. For the first time in forever, snow was the enemy. And our extra large driveway no longer the apple of my eye. I wasn’t prepared for it.

Ever since I lived on my own I found residence in apartments in the city. And for years it was all I needed. A small place to call home but it came with perks. No upkeep outside my door whatsoever. If the grass grew too long, they had landscapers for that. If the snow piled up in the lot outside, they had contractors for that. I could come and go and plan my days with the carefree attitude like the rest of the year. But that changes. As we do.

Everybody wants a home. Most do. And when W and I contemplated the next stage in our life together it included our very own home. And we love it. This year particuarly. It’s no secret that the weather is different from any other winter we’ve lived through. Most days are spring-like and snow has been few and far between. When it has snowed it’s really just been flurries and it melts away in a day or two. Each and every time. Except last weekend.

It felt like winter when we woke up. Brisk outside, which is perfect for our walks with the dog. W went downstairs to start the coffee while I made us something to eat. She was upstairs editing away when she commented on the snow outside. Even with windows and a sliding door steps from my feet, I didn’t notice. Or pay attention. I was concentrating on the food. Time flew by, as it likes to do on weekens. “Have you looked outside,” W called from the stairs above. So I did. And I saw something I’m used to seeing on some winter days gone by, but not this year. The snow came. And came. And kept coming for hours and hours. It never let up.

W suggested taking the dog for a walk through the forest. So we did. When we entered the path we something unlike which we hadn’t see before. It was a stunning display of winter’s glory. There was nothing but white for as far as the eye could see. The trees and limbs and bushes were completely white. The path was untouched, not a footprint anywhere. We were obviously the first ones there. We walked the dog and took pictures everywhere we walked. The only other sign visible at that moment was the soft shining light from the sun high up above.

When we walked back through the door we were wet and hungry. Our shoes packed with snow and pants bottoms wet and uncomfortable. We quickly changed and I headed downstairs to the the kitchen. It was the perfect day for comfort food, so I made this winter pasta. It was hearty, filling and bloody delicious. And everything we needed at that exact moment. When we finished up we made our way back upstairs.

Sitting with the fireplace at our backs, we commented again about how beautiful it looked outside. We sat back to unwind and relax. And enjoy the day in fornt of us. I kept staring at the heavy snow. Just as I was finally warm and comfortable, the reality sunk in.  “See you in an hour, honey!”  Time to break my back outside shovelling.

When we first walked through our house we tripped over the adjectives used to describe it. We saw all the wonderful things we loved about our house. But we soon realized that as seasons change, so does the way we look at our house. Some of the things we loved about our house became some of the things we didn’t like about our house. So goes life. Yet een knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t change a thing. Extra snow shovelling and all.


From my kitchen to yours,



Winter Pasta with Chorizo


  • 2 leeks, halved and washed and cut into large pieces
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 cabbage leaves, removed from stalk and washed
  • 3 tbsp. of oregano leaves
  • 120 ml good olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 cup Parmesan, grated
  •  pasta water, if required for consistency
  • sea salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 chorizo links, cooked and sliced
  • 250 grams of fettuccine
  • 1 cup Parmesan, finely grated
  • oregano leaves, for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add in the pieces of leeks and garlic cloves and cook for 3 minutes. Add in the cabbage and cook for 2 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, quickly remove the leeks, garlic and cabbage and put in a food processor.
  2. Add in the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and Parmesan and puree until smooth. Check for desired consistency, adding some of that hot pasta water if needed. Check for seasoning and add sea salt & ground pepper if needed. Pour into a saucepan and simmer.
  3. Bring the pasta water back to a boil. Meanwhile, cook the chorizo in a saute pan over medium-high heat until browned all over. Remove from the pan and let cool slightly. Slice the chorizo and add back into the pan until fully cooked. Now that the water is boiling again, add in the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and add back to the pan. Pour the sauce over top and cook for 1 minute, stirring until combined. Remove from the heat.
  4. Add in the grated Parmesan and chorizo slices and stir. Check for seasoning again.
  5. Plate the pasta. Add a bit more grated Parmesan over top and sprinkle with oregano leaves.
  6. Serves 2.



Leave a Comment

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Isabelle @ Crumb February 3, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I feel your pain, Mike… we were so ecstatic our house was on a corner lot, because it meant a larger yard and more sunshine in the house. Five years on, we bemoan living on a corner lot, because it means we have so much more lawn to mow and so much more sidewalk to shovel. We still love our little house, though. :)
I love the combination of leek and cabbage with the sausage… so hearty and satisfying. Definitely the kind of thing I’d want to help me refuel after an hour spent shoveling!


Heidi @foodiecrush February 3, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Unlike you, we here in UT have had barely a trace in our front yards this year and it is TOTALLY BUMMING ME OUT. One of my fave things to do is get out and shovel. Yes, our driveway isn’t a mile long, but there’s just a little piece of magic that gives a power boost to the day when its spent flipping snow. Your pasta looks like the PERFECT thing to bring me inside. Lovely!


Brian @ A Thought For Food February 3, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Ha! Eric and I have been looking for “homes” for a while now. A house, while appealing, has it’s downsides. Not sure what the next phase will be for us, but one day I think we’ll want a yard where our pup can run and where we can have an actual garden.

Love this recipe, my friend. By the way, you have long sausage there. ;-)


bridget {bake at 350} February 3, 2012 at 5:58 pm

I love the idea of pureeing the cabbage, leek and garlic! So smart!

I keep revisiting when we looked at our current house for the second or third time. The realtor asked very nicely, “Does it have enough storage for you?” Looking back, she was giving us a strong hint. It doesn’t. Not by a long shot. I might beat shoveling snow, though. ;)


Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen February 4, 2012 at 3:50 am

Ah yes there are always those downsides we overlook when we fall in love with something. We had been looking for so long and everything was either too run down or way over our budget so when we saw the place we are in now we fell in love. Come to find out that there were major renovations need…. but I would still buy it again.


Claire February 5, 2012 at 12:50 pm

beautiful pictures! this dish looks perfect for these winter months, i can totally picture eating it by a fire. will have to make it!


onionchoco February 7, 2012 at 6:09 am

Michael, you do know, what we people of snow need now!
Greetings from Warsaw. About 15 below zero today :)


marla February 7, 2012 at 9:34 am

As much as I say I want to move to the mountains I know the glamour + bliss would be difficult to deal with when reality sets in. This is such a beautiful & comforting post Mike. This pasta recipe will be created next week in Telluride!


silvia May 5, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Stunning photography


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