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Where to begin? A discourse on pasta types and methods of cookery? (The Italian cooking opus, The Silver Spoon, states 1 litre of water and 10g salt for every 100g pasta.) Or perhaps the history of linguine? (It means ‘little tongues’ and is from the Liguria region – coastal north-west Italy.)

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Maybe how similar Lorraine Pascale and I are in our love of chorizo? ( I actually could eat it every day … A personal favourite is to have it as a ‘nibble’ – summer evening, sat in the garden with a glass of something cold and bubbly [could be wine, could be a nice crisp pear cider] and a bowl of fried chorizo, silverskin onions and cubed cheddar [because its so very 1976 at our house].)

If anybody is not au fait with the delights of the wonderful cured Spanish pork sausage then I urge you to go and find some. I’m talking about the dried Spanish chorizo here that comes in small-diameter U-shaped sausages. It can be either spicy or sweet depending on the type of smoked paprika used. It also comes as a ‘raw’ sausage, or in larger rounds that can be sliced rather like ham.

This recipe came following a rather … hectic weekend that left no room for grocery shopping and was thus born of necessity and a few ‘store cupboard essentials’. (Yes, I consider chorizo as an essential!)

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So what was I faced with? A small tin of chopped tomatoes, half a packet of linguine, the chorizo, an onion, half a red chilli, baby plum tomatoes, some garlic and a courgette that looked like something from the Barrier Reef. That had died. Discarding the courgette it all became clear.

Baby plum tomatoes

Baby plum tomatoes

Some kind of arrabiatta. Arrabiatto means ‘angry’ in Italian, and the sauce should be fiery. Tragically, with only half a red chilli to my name, it wasn’t going to be particularly arrabiatto. Probably closer to infastidito. Maybe barely scontrosoBut we make do and mend. Or at least we make up.

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Ingredients

  • Pasta, in this case linguine, enough for two people
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 100g chorizo, sliced into thin discs (could be cubed – your choice!)
  • Half red chilli, chopped (normally I’d ramp this up to a whole red chilli)
  • Small tin chopped tomatoes (you can buy these with or without herbs – if they are pre-herbed, don’t add the extra oregano listed below)
  • Handful chopped tomatoes (in this case, they were baby plum tomatoes, but if you only have ‘standard’ tomatoes then chop into chunks)
  • Quarter tsp dried oregano

Method

Bring a pan of salted water (with dash of olive oil) to the boil and add dried pasta.

Whilst this is cooking, sweat the chopped onion in a little oil or butter (not too much as the chorizo will ooze its sweet red oil as it cooks and you don’t want the sauce to be greasy).

Add the garlic and fry a little, then add the chorizo. Keep stirring in order for the onion and garlic to not catch on the bottom of the pan!

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Once the chorizo has coloured, add the tomatoes, chilli and oregano (if using). Stir for several minutes.

If it looks as though the sauce will be too dry, add some of the pasta cooking water. (This is a good tip for any sauce that you make for pasta – adding some of the starchy water helps thicken the sauce and helps it stick to the pasta once its mixed.)

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Drain the pasta once its cooked and divide into bowls. Spoon on the sauce, add cheese or black pepper as you wish, and eat immediately!

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