It’s Valentine’s day and Sven is taking me out to Riddle and Finn’s for dinner tonight (which I’m very excited about). However, being a person who thinks food is love, I couldn’t get through the day without demonstrating my love for Sven in some gastronomic way. I therefore decided to cook him a special pasta for lunch designed especially for him (small portions so we can manage our seafood platter later tonight).
But how to say “I love you” through pasta? Well, first things first: chorizo. Sven loves chorizo, and I’m pretty sure most men do for that matter. It’s bold and smokey, and I was comfortable that I couldn’t go far wrong with that. Next, chilli. Fiery, intense, and eye-watering. All attributes that chillis and love have in common. If I wanted my dish to demonstrate passion then chilli was an absolute must. Lastly, sundried tomatoes. Aside from the fact that they would go beautifully and Sven absolutely adores tomatoes, the flavour is like distilled sunshine and evokes (at least to me) a feeling of happiness and contentment.
(Aside: This is all very corny, but as it’s Valentine’s day I’m sure you’ll all forgive me. You’ve got to play for it, haven’t you?)
My fiery and passionate pasta went down very well with the old man, who is now napping contentedly on the sofa beside me with the footie in the background. He claimed that it was one of the best pastas he’d ever had, and I guess it should be as it was created with his likes and dislikes in mind. No doubt I’ll be making it again in the future, but it will always be known as “fiery valentine’s chorizo pasta”.
If you give this a try then I recommend you use conchiglie pasta as the chorizo cubes get caught in the shells and what you get is almost like chorizo parcels. The pasta must as always be al dente ; there is nothing worse than mushy pasta. The best thing of all about this recipe is that I’ve got half a chorizo sausage left in the fridge and I can keep sneaking little slices here and there. The dish that keeps on giving. Yes.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 50g chorizo, cubed
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 1 dried chilli
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp sundried tomato paste
- handful of sundried tomatoes, rougly chopped
- 400g can of chopped tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
- Conchiglie pasta (I did about 100g for the two of us).
Over a medium heat, fry the chorizo cubes in a glug of olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add the thinly sliced garlic and continue to cook for a minute or so. Spoon in the teaspoon of smoked paprika and mix thoroughly before stirring in the chopped tomatoes, the sundried tomatoes and the sundried tomato paste. Crumble in the dried chilli and season with salt and pepper. Simmer gently for 5 to 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened up.
In the meantime, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. To avoid the pasta sticking, cook in a really large pan and salt the water generously. Once the pasta is ready, spoon a little bit of the cooking water into the sauce before you drain the pasta. Coat the cooked pasta with a good quality extra virgin olive oil before adding it directly to the sauce. Mix the pasta and the sauce until all the shells are completely coated. Serve.