If the last few months has reminded me of anything, it’s that I really love cooking. Living by myself for the first time in 6 years means that I can just go ahead and eat at whatever time I fancy and it’s allowed me to try out new dishes that I can throw together with whatever ingredients I have in the fridge and cupboard or find some new inspirations online.
One evening, I was rapidly running out of food and I had a few odd things that I had no idea what to make with. So I went online, typed the ingredients that I had into Google, and found this fantastic, tasty meal on Hello Fresh. And it packs a punch: Chorizo, aubergine and sun-dried tomatoes – with some added chilli flakes if you want to spice it up a bit.
There’s nothing like a warming meal at the end of a day of sitting at your home desk, staring at a screen when you’ve just finished your 5th or 6th Teams meeting (no comment has ever hit as hard as “this could have been an email”).
The recipe is simple, speedy and it chucks a bit of Italian flavour in as well – so for me, it’s pretty much an all-round winner for a weeknight meal. On top of that, it makes two portions so you can stretch it over a couple of nights.
What you’ll need:
- 1 Onion
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 1 Aubergine
- 60 grams of Chorizo
- 30 grams of Sun-dried Tomatoes
- Pinch of Chilli Flakes
- 1 can of Chopped Tomatoes
- 200 grams of Wholewheat Spaghetti (or try it with your favourite kind of pasta)
What you’ll do:
Preheat your oven to about 200°C (or just shy of 400°F) and put a large saucepan of water (with a little bit of salt) on the hob to boil for your pasta. Peel and then dice your onion and the two garlic cloves.
You’ll then want to chop, very finely, your sun-dried tomatoes. I use a fork as well as a kitchen knife for this, simply because it can be a bit of a faff with the oil that the tomatoes are kept in when you buy them.
Quarter the chorizo so that you have plenty of small pieces and set to one side.
Remove the top from the aubergine and then half it lengthways. Chop each half into four strips and then cut those again sideways into around 1cm little cubes.
Put the chopped aubergine on a baking tray and throw (well, don’t actually throw) a fair amount of oil over, along with some salt and pepper. I love using chilli oil for this, simply because it gives the dish another kick.
Toss the aubergine so that it’s coated in the oil and then put the tray into the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Make sure you keep an eye on the aubergine though, if it starts to look like it’s burning, just turn the oven down slightly. You’ll know that the aubergine is ready to come out of the oven when it’s soft and crispy.
While your aubergine is in the oven, heat a drizzle of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, sun-dried tomatoes and chilli flakes (if you want to use them) and cook, constantly stirring until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and chopped chorizo and cook for another few minutes.
By now, the pan of water should be boiling and bubbling away nicely, so add the pasta and cook. You won’t want your pasta to be cooked all the way through, it’s much better al dente so that it’s a little firm still. Turn the hob off, drain the pasta in a colander and return it to the pan. Throw a little glug of oil into the saucepan and toss so that the pasta is coated with oil – this will stop it from sticking together.
Next up, you’ll want to grab your can of chopped tomatoes and add it into the chorizo mixture, with a tiny pinch of sugar to really bring out the flavour and some salt and pepper. Let the sauce simmer over a medium heat until it’s thickened. This should take between 5 and 10 minutes. Once your sauce is thick, stir in your roasted aubergine.
Add your pasta to the sauce so that it’s ready to combine. Toss together, or stir (depending on whether you want half of your dinner up the wall) so that all of the ingredients are mixed.
Grab some tongs, and serve yourself a generous bowl of amazing, easy to cook, tasty food.
See? It’s that easy! I want to know what lockdown recipes you’ve tried. Yes, you’ve probably made banana bread, because, well who hasn’t?
Comment below on any new things that you’ve made over the last 12 weeks, and happy cooking!