Everyone has those recipes that they throw together on a moment's notice. When there's nothing in the fridge, as such, but you only need to grab a couple of bits from the supermarket to pull it together. Those recipes that you've made a thousand times, always slightly differently, but never ever get sick of.
This is mine.
I actually wrote up this recipe - or a variation of it - back in 2012. That's about when I started making it (and about when I started to become a half-decent cook), but since then it's become my go-to recipe when I'm doing a batch cook. It's super easy, super quick, and makes lots. And because it's tomato-based, the flavours mature the longer it's kept, so it freezes like a dream. I find I generally have most of the ingredients - as long as I grab some chorizo when I'm out, then that's all I need to pull it together.
This recipe serves 10 based on 50g pasta per person, but you can obviously adjust the serving sizes as you wish. It's also very much a 'season to taste' recipe, but this is about right for how I like it - full of flavour with a bit of heat but not overwhelmingly spicy - but as always, do your own thing with it, add the veg you like, make it a bit spicier - whatever you like!
Spicy chorizo & Tomato Pasta
1 x chorizo sausage (225g)
1 x onion
1 x red pepper
6 x mushrooms
1 x bag spinach
1 x bag spinach
1 x red chilli pepper, deseeded
4 x cloves garlic
2 x carton passata
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 x glass red wine (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Serves 10 | approx 350 calories per portion
1. Chop up the chorizo sausage, the onion, red pepper and mushrooms and throw into a big pan (or wok) to cook through. I don't usually use oil, but add some if you wish or a splash of water, if you think it's going to stick.
2. Crush your garlic cloves and throw those in, and chop up your chilli pepper and add that too.
3. Let everything cook for about 10 minutes to soften and cook through - popping the lid on will help speed that up.
4. Throw in a glass of red wine and let the ingredients simmer in it for a few moments to absorb the flavour. Pour yourself one too. Why not.
5. Add the passata, the paprika, the balsamic vinegar and the sweet chilli sauce, and plenty of black pepper.
6. Stir everything well then leave on a medium heat to bubble away for about 10 minutes. Now would be a good time to pop your pasta on to cook, too.
7. As you leave your sauce to bubble, it will start to reduce and thicken. If it needs a help with thickening, add some cornflour paste.
8. Give it a taste, and decide if it needs any further seasoning. I often find a bit of salt is needed at this point. If it's a bit too sour then add a bit more sweet chilli, if it's a bit too sweet add a bit of salt and perhaps some more balsamic. Just throw in whatever you find. Liquid smoke is a great one to add if you have some kicking around.
9. Throw in your spinach and let it wilt, then (once cooked), drain your pasta and add to the sauce, stirring until it's well covered.
10. Dish it up and portion up the rest to pop in the freezer. Lazy, tasty dinners for the next week - sorted.