The minute the weather gets properly cold, I start craving strong flavours and food that’s filling and sort of ‘hugs’ you from the inside out.
And it has been getting colder and gloomier with the arrival of November – typically my least favourite month of the year.
But there are compensations – such as wrapping yourself in layers of warm clothes, having dinner in front of a roaring fire and enjoying a plateful of spicy chorizo and tomato linguine.
It is such a quick meal – on the table in under 30 minutes. Winter blues begone!
You don’t need many ingredients to rustle up this meal. But you do need the best – I use Barilla linguine, which is brand of pasta I grew up with.
The distinctive blue packaging takes me back to the days when I was first trusted to go out to pick up groceries on my own – truly a rite of passage.
Can’t believe my daughter is now almost of an age to be independent like that but, yes, I totally plan to take advantage!
Making the sauce could not be easier. Peel the casing off the chorizo and slice into little cubes. Pan fry with a pinch of fennel seeds until the sausage starts to release its lovely smell and spicy oil.
Stir in the onions, garlic and a splash of olive oil and cook until softened. Add the tomato paste, a small glass of Chianti and a little sugar and stir them in.
Finally add the chopped tomatoes and turn up the heat. While the sauce is bubbling away, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add a generous pinch of salt and the linguine – skip adding any oil it will just make your sauce slide off.
Cook for 8 minutes until al dente, drain well and stir in a little butter. Mix your pasta with the sauce, stirring in the fresh spinach so that it wilts in the heat.
A handful of sliced black olives would also work well in this dish – I confess totally intended to add them but got distracted!
Barilla is running an amazing competition until December 2nd. Simply create a pasta dish using Barilla and post it on their Facebook page or Instagram with the following hashtags #OutsidetheBox and #BarillaUK for a chance to win £1,000 worth of British Airways vouchers towards a trip to Italy. Make sure your read the terms and conditions and get cooking!
Spicy chorizo tomato linguine
- 450 g | 1 pound Barilla linguine
- 150 g | 5.3oz chorizo cubed
- 1 x400g | 14oz tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 large garlic cloves peeled and minced
- 2 red onions peeled and finely sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tsp butter
- 2 tsp sugar
- small glass red wine
- 80 g | 3oz fresh spinach
- pinch dried chilli flakes
- pinch fennel seeds
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- Peel the casing off the chorizo and cut into small cubes.
- Heat a large pan and pan fry the chorizo and fennel seeds for a couple of minutes, stirring until the sausage starts to release its spicy oil.
- Add the olive oil, onions and garlic and stir over low heat for 3-4 minutes until softened.
- Stir in the tomato purée, sugar, chillies and wine.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, stir well and bring to a rolling simmer.
- While the sauce is bubbling away, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add a generous pinch of salt and cook the linguine for 8 minutes until al dente. Drain well and return to the pot. Stir in the butter and toss together.
- Add the pasta to the tomato sauce, using tongs to mix it until well coated. Taste and season. Stir in the spinach and serve.