Sunday, June 19, 2011

Midwinter Musings & Pasta Lunches

Midwinter, when the days are short, the mornings chill, the sun’s first light glinting from a thin layer of frost on the cables strung between buildings. The wind blows cold from the south, faces burrow into colourful scarves, hands warmed around cups of takeaway coffee, sheltered from the chill by delightfully thick coats, when layers become a necessity, rather than merely fashion. I really love winter. I love curling up under piles of blankets, waking up to misty streets, the initial thrill of cold feet when Matt climbs into bed, and all the delicious, rich, warm food that keeps us sustained through the winter months.
Unfortunately, cold weather means many more hours spent indoors, so to pass the time, I’ve decided to play catch-up with a few of the things that have been going on in my kitchen that I never got around to posting. First up, this delicious number from a few weeks ago. Typical cupboard raid stuff that proves that you can make something delicious in the time it takes to cook your pasta!

Fridge/pantry raid!
Pastalicious lunch

On the board

  • Olive Oil (I promise it's not really vodka in that bottle!)
  • 2 serves of short pasta
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • ½ spicy chorizo, diced
  • ½ eggplant, diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2-4 marinated artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Baby Spinach
  • Fresh parmesan or goats chevre to serve

Bring a pot of water on to boil, and add your pasta of choice. A short pasta, such as fusilli or penne, works well for this sort of dish. In a frying pan, heat a little olive oil on medium to high, and sauté some finely diced red onion. You don’t need a lot of oil, as the chorizo will provide more than enough! Once the onions are glassy, add half a spicy chorizo sausage, diced, and toss frequently until it has released some of its beautiful juices, and is starting to cook through. Add a generous handful or two of diced eggplant, two diced tomatoes, roughly chopped artichoke hearts (drained), and a good slosh of balsamic vinegar (about a tablespoon?), then mix thoroughly. By the time the pasta has finished cooking, the tomatoes should have started to break down over the heat, and create a bit of sauce. Drain the pasta well, add to the frying pan with a good handful of baby spinach, and toss both through the sauce. Serve with a grate of fresh parmesan, or some crumbled goats chevre, and enjoy!

Ready to serve, delicious!

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