Friday, 24 August 2012

Pasta with chorizo in a tomato sauce

Pasta with chorizo in a tomato sauce
This is one recipe I have been wanting to share for ages. I love chorizo, it is one of my favourite ingredients. This is based on my grandma's recipe, when I started cooking (or trying to) many years ago I asked her for three recipes: her chorizo pasta, her meat with olives and her "arroz con leche" (the Spanish version of the British rice pudding). Let's just say that the woman could cook and not only good food but for hordes of people as it was never just her and my grandad for lunch or dinner around their kitchen table (one of the favourite spaces of my childhood).

When I don't have access to a Spanish shop I buy Tesco's cooking chorizo (in fact there's always some of it in our fridge), you could also try Revilla Chorizo de Pueblo Puchero which you can find easily in Sainsbury's or Waitrose.

Thermomix version here.
Feel free to use more chorizo if you really like it or are making a bigger batch.

You can also use less chorizo if you want to be a bit healthier, yesterday I only used one and a half sausages of the Tesco cooking chorizo (I usually use two) and it turned out really tasty.

For the pasta: it will work with any type of pasta of course but the classic is with penne, you basically need a pasta shape with crevices where the tomato sauce can work its way in and fill them with flavour. Last night I made it with fusilli as you can see from the photos.

Spanish kids love this dish, my half Spanish-half English kid loves it so, if your kids like pasta, they'll probably like it too!

Serves: 2-3 people.

Ingredients:
  • 100 g of chorizo
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped finely (optional)
  • Pasta such as penne or fusilli (the amount you would usually cook for yourself or your household)
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes (400 g each), add more tins as you need if cooking for more people
  • Mixed herbs
  • Salt and pepper
  •  Parmesan cheese to grate on top (optional), it's really tasty without it too if you want to save the calories.
  •  Olive oil.
Equipment:
  • Two large pans
  • Two chopping boards, one for the onion and garlic and one for the chorizo
  • A colander
  • A healthy appetite
Method:

1. Fry the onion and garlic in a little olive oil over a gentle heat so that it sweats. Stirring occasionally.

2. Slice the chorizo in the meantime. To add extra flavour I half the chorizo sausage lengthways first and then cut into slices, you could even quarter it lengthways and then slice it. Or you could slice the sausage to end up with nice round slices. The choice is yours.

3. Add the chorizo to the pan and increase the heat a bit, give it a good stir, let all the juices mix with the onion.

4. Add the two tins of chopped tomatoes (I mean the contents of the tins, of course!) and give it a good stir. Try not to let them boil. Add the herbs, some salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar (the sugar only if you think it will need it, I personall don't tend to add sugar). Let it simmer for at least half an hour, stirring occasionally. You will know when the consistency is right.

5. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Drain (but not too much) and add to the sauce, stirring really well so that the sauce coats the pasta. Always listen to Jamie Oliver on this one and keep some of the magic liquid that is the water where the pasta boiled, just in case.

6. (Optional) If you have lots of time in your hands, put the grill on, spread it on an oven dish, add grated cheese all over the top, add a few knobs of butter and stick it in for 10 minutes or so until golden and crusty on top. You'll thank me for it!

Serve with Spanish flair in individual plates or put it on the table so that everyone can help themselves, grate parmesan on top.

¡A la mesa!

NOTE: Once you are used to this basic recipe, adapt it to your taste with perhaps just oregano as a herb, or with fresh herbs from your garden that you think will go well, play with it.

BRILLIANT TIP: After adding the chorizo and giving it a good stir, add some red wine and let it bubble before adding the chopped tomatoes and turning the heat down to simmer. This gives the sauce a deeper flavour.
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