If you’re just starting out in cooking from scratch, you might be wondering what the best recipes to learn first are. When I was a teenager, probably the first thing I learned to make was a simple pasta sauce, so I’ll show you one variation below with lots of extras at the end – there’s just no reason to buy jars of sauce when it’s so easy to make them.
This is a quick and simple pasta recipe to serve 4-6 people. I split it into six small portions and froze most of it – we weren’t very hungry the first night and we tend to serve salad and/or garlic bread with pasta most of the time anyway. But if you’re a bit hungrier I’d split it into four.
Spicy chorizo pasta (serves 4-6)
- 1 package cooking chorizo, papery skin peeled off and chopped into chunks
- 3 small onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes
- 2 peppers, sliced (I used yellow)
- 2 tsp paprika
- 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp vegetable or olive oil
- Roughly 250ml beef stock (I used half a stock cube)
- 75-100g pasta per person, depending on appetite
Put a deep-sided frying pan on to a medium heat and add the chopped chorizo. Let it cook for a few minutes, until the orange oil seeps out, then put aside.
Add the onions and peppers to the oil, adding the extra vegetable or olive oil if there isn’t enough from the chorizo. Cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally (you want the onions to be softened, translucent and maybe just starting to brown, but not burnt).
Add the garlic and cook for a further couple of minutes. Some people add this with the onions, and you can if you want, but I think it’s too easy to burn finely crushed garlic. Add the tomatoes, beef stock, oregano and paprika and leave to simmer away for around half an hour, until nicely reduced. Taste and add a couple of pinches of sugar if needed, and season to taste.
Add the chorizo back in, cook for a couple of minutes until heated through, then serve over the pasta, with parmesan scattered over if you want and possibly a side salad.
Variations – you can substitute half the chorizo for a can of butter or cannelini beans – just drain and add in when you re-add in the chorizo at the end. To make a vegetarian meal, use two cans of beans, no chorizo and use vegetable stock instead of beef – you might need to add extra paprika too. You can also use other veg instead of peppers – courgette or aubergine might work well too.