Utterly Delicious Chorizo, Tomato & Spinach Pasta… gobble gobble!

19 Jan

chorizo stew

Hello readers!

I thought today I would give you a lovely, healthy, delicious, heart-warming, inexpensive dish that you can make over and over again – to share with family or friends; or just to eat all to yourself if you like!? Once made you could also freeze a few portions of this recipe, so that you have a tasty meal when you get in from work which will be ready in just 15 minutes.

So, ‘what is this amazing recipe’, I hear you cry? As the title suggests it involves chorizo, tomatoes and spinach. It is a little more like a stew than a sauce, but it can be eaten with pasta or rice, or you could even just toast a few pitta breads and dip them in the ‘stew’. I have done all 3 of these versions and it’s just great each time!

I have to mention where this recipe originated… I am very lucky to have some gem icecreamwonderful friends, some that are great cooks (others potentially not so!), but those that can cook, cook with me and it is generally a highlight of our reunions! So, this Christmas I ventured over to Anna’s house (you can see her over there…  eating ice cream with me) and we raided the fridge and made this! It was excellent and so I want to share it with all of you…

Without further ado…

PREPARATION TIME: 5 minutes

COOKING TIME: 15 – 20 minutes

MAKES: 4 portions

INGREDIENTS & COSTINGS

  • 1 Large Onion  (33p)
  • 2 tsp Chilli Flakes
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/3 Ring of Chorizo (£2 for the whole ring, so approx. 67p)
  • 1 tin/carton Chopped Tomatoes (79p)
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (the bottle cost me £1.30, so about 10p)
  • 1/4 bag Spinach Leaves (£1.50 for the bag, so approx. 38p)
  • Ground Black Pepper – to taste

TOTAL COST

Overall this dish should cost about £2.27 and with wholemeal/brown rice or pasta add about another £1.  I think a grand total of £3.27 is exceptionally reasonable value for a family of 4.

If you add a little cheese, add about 40p to the cost of the recipe, and if you eat a pitta bread with each portion too add another 60p.

I think the key with this recipe is, once you have the basic stew/sauce, you can make additions as you like to keep in line with your weekly budget.  Give it a go and experiment, if you find a cheap alternative to something you could always add that instead.

HOW TO MAKE IT…

The first thing to do is obviously to get the onion cooking, so lets chop that nice and finely, then add a tiny bit of olive oil to the frying pan, heat it up (so that it is just lightly smoking… no more, you don’t want the onions to sizzle when they hit the pan).  Use a garlic crusher (or mortal and pestle?) to crush the garlic, and add this straight to the onions.  Add the chilli at this stage and then let all of this cook until they turn golden, but do not let them burn.  If they do burn, throw them away and start again as burnt onions will really spoil the taste of your dish.

Now the onions are lovely and soft, reduce the heat and prepare the chorizo.  I like to cut this into small pieces, just roughly chopped is fine (we aren’t cooking in a Michelin star restaurant so its ok!) and then pop the chorizo into the frying pan too.  You want to turn the heat back up and keep moving the chorizo and the onions around in the pan.  The chorizo will start to release its flavour as it cooks, through the oils in it.  This will give off a lovely aroma and will colour the onions.  Give this process about 5 minutes.

*If you are serving this dish with rice or pasta, start cooking it around about now.  Don’t add salt and try to use brown rice or pasta for a little extra wholemeal goodness.*

Next reduce the heat, so it is just on low… add the chopped tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and black pepper (to your taste preference).   I would advise not adding any salt to this recipe as the chorizo is salty and will give a salty flavour.  If you do add salt remember it is not good for your health to have too much salt, but also you could spoil the dish.  Just proceed with caution!

Let this cook for about 10 minutes.  The volume of the sauce/stew will reduce, so do feel free to add a little water to keep a saucy consistency –  we aren’t making chorizo and tomato paste.. unless you want to give that a go to!?

After the 10 minutes has elapsed you can start thinking about adding the spinach.  I would get this out of the bag and give it a very good wash.  Sometimes the spinach leaves can have grit/soil still on them and this will be discovered when you start eating and your teeth crunch onto the grit!  Once washed, tear the leaves or roughly chop them and then drop them into the stew/sauce and cook until the leaves wilt.  If you have never cooked spinach before and don’t know what the ‘wilt’ looks like, it is ok!  Just keep stirring until the spinach goes very dark green and becomes very soft, you will hardly be able to see it any more in the sauce!  (See my picture above!).

You are now about ready to serve!  Drain your pasta or rice, toast your pitta bread and then serve in a bowl.  If you want to indulge a little sprinkle some cheddar cheese or parmesan over the top.  If you have made it very hot you could add a little sour cream or natural yoghurt to reduce the heat a little.

Most of all… ENJOY!  You have put a lot of hardwork in, so sit down and enjoy your meal.

Ps.  If there is lots left over portion it up and freeze it in Tupperware boxes or freezer bags ready for another day – or make a large batch and freeze it.

PPS.  Another amazing addition is houmous!  (You can make this really easily, but if you buy it, buy the reduced fat version…)  So,warm some wholemeal pitta breads, carefully cut them in half, spread with houmous and eat with your chorizo and pasta/rice.  AMAZING.

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3 Responses to “Utterly Delicious Chorizo, Tomato & Spinach Pasta… gobble gobble!”

  1. Moomin January 19, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    Can’t wait to give this a try!! It looks and sounds yummy 🙂

  2. Kitty Kat February 23, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Looks like you both need that ice cream, and all the recipes on this blog! Way too prominent collar bones! Hope you don’t have an eating disorder – obsessed with cooking but not eating enough?

  3. gemsfoodgems February 23, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    Hi Kitty Kat…

    Thanks for your comment. No I absolutely don’t have an eating disorder!! I am a Nutritionist, so am very healthy and I am obsessed with cooking and EATING… my friends tell me in advance that they won’t be eating much when they visit me, so not to cook too much as I always have cakes in the tin (for elevenses) and I eat a good 3 meals a day.

    I would be careful writing such comments on other people’s blogs as this could be very hurtful if I was ill, but also we shouldn’t really be judging others like this.

    My friends and family would find this comment quite amusing as I am very healthy size 12!!

    Gemma

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