Friday, 28 October 2011

Fettucini Fantasies

And now, ladies and gentlemen, for something slightly different. I told you there would be food, so here it is!

I have an unhealthy obsession with pasta. I can live off it for days and days - I'm pretty sure that in the five days I was in Italy every lunch and dinner had some sort of pasta in it. It was one of the first things I experimented with when I started cooking for myself, and some of the early experiments with white sauce ended very badly (curdled milk, anybody?). Between that and the fact that chorizo, which I love, doesn't really go well with cream, I started trying tomato-based sauces instead.

The recipe below is the culmination of lots of experimentation with smooshing random recipes together and some awesome input from Steph. For one, there used to be hardly any sauce, but she's absolutely obsessed with tomatoes (she eats them like apples!), so I figured I should add more of them to make sauce and it came out nicely. She also taught me a neat trick with oily meats like chorizo - if you stick the meat in a cold pan and let it heat up with the pan, all the oil comes out of it and you don't have to add any extra oil to your cooking.

If you're not into meat, I've made a slightly altered version of this for my vegetarian friends before. Just substitute 2 tbsp oil for the chorizo in step 2, let it heat up a bit and then follow along with the rest of the recipe.

If you're planning on reheating this a day or two after, add a bit of water and stir it around before you pop it into the microwave or a pot so it doesn't dry out.


Serves 4
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins

  • 2 Spanish chorizos, cubed
  • 4 medium tomatoes, cubed
  • 500g baby spinach
  • 10 button mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 500g egg fettucini
  1. Boil pasta according to packet directions in plenty of salted boiling water.
  2. While pasta is boiling, put the chorizo in a cold pan and set on medium heat until it is lightly brown and the pan is oily (about 3-5 minutes).
  3. Add the garlic and stir until the garlic is translucent.
  4. Add in the mushrooms, half the tomatoes and 1/4 cup of water. Lightly smash the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon.
  5. Leave cooking, stirring occasionally, on a low heat until the tomatoes have broken down. Top up with small amounts of water if it's looking dry.
  6. Add in the rest of the tomatoes, the spinach, the lemon juice and some cracked black pepper. Stir until the spinach has wilted.
  7. Mix sauce into pasta. Don't serve with cheese! It tastes a bit odd with it.
And that's it! Let me know if you try it and whether you like it or not :)

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