I’m tempted to call this a storecupboard recipe, but I realise that not everyone has chorizo hanging around their fridge. Use either fresh or cured chorizo in this recipe, just make sure they come in whole sausage form (those large links or mini sausages). Both types of chorizo keep for ages, so you could use some for this recipe and try the rest in another dish – maybe an omelette or scrambled eggs.
Because chorizo is very well flavoured with smoky paprika and is easy to use, you can add it to lots of things and it will add warm spice to your dish. In this dish, you fry some chorizo with onion and garlic before adding a tin of tomatoes, and maybe some chilli if you like things very hot. It’s something which provides the comforting starchy stodge of pasta and sweet mellow onions, but also warms you up with spice and punchy flavours. Pretty good going for the winter.
- . 175g chorizo sausage, cut into fairly thin slices
- . A little vegetable oil
- . 1 large onion, halved and then finely sliced into thin half-moons
- . 2 fat cloves garlic, finely minced
- . 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- . 2 bird’s eye chillies, chopped (optional!)
- . A little sugar
- . Salt and pepper to taste
- . 275g pasta of your choice
- Heat a wide frying pan or saucepan over a medium heat.
- Add a dash of vegetable oil (especially important if you’re using cured chorizo) and tip in all the chorizo.
- Cook, turning occasionally, until firm, slightly darkened, and giving off fragrant orange oil.
- Add all the onion slices to the pan, stirring well to coat everything in the oil.
- Turn the heat a little lower and leave the onions to soften, stirring occasionally make sure it cooks evenly.
- They’re done when they are see-through and easily crushed under the edge of the spoon.
- Stir in the minced garlic and chilli, if using.
- Pour in the tin of chopped tomatoes.
- Turn the heat up to high, and let it bubble fiercely for a couple of minutes.
- Scrape the bottom now and then to make sure it doesn’t catch. It should be a thick rich red mass.
- Taste it: soften any excessive tanginess with a tiny spoonful of sugar and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Turn off the heat and keep warm while you get on with the pasta.
- Put a large pan of water on a high heat to boil, salt it very well, and add the pasta.
- Push and fuse to ensure everything’s submerged (I actually find chopsticks are excellent for this), and leave to cook for a little less than the packet instructions.
- Carefully out a piece and taste a bit – it should be firm, with no crunch. If it’s still just slightly crunchier than you want it, leave it for 30 seconds, then drain immediately. Pasta will continue to soften as long as it’s hot.
- Toss the sauce and pasta together and serve right away.
Image courtesy of Pear Nuallak