I wish I could say I lovingly shopped for this spicy stew of chickpeas and chorizo sausages, and that I made it to ward off the early Autumn chill. Because that would sound nice and romantic, wouldn’t it? But the sad truth is, I didn’t have time to make what I’d planned to make for dinner, and I felt like something tart and spicy… and then it suddenly hit me that I have all the necessary ingredients for this dish. And it wouldn’t (and didn’t) take much time to make.

I had a vague recollection of having read this recipe somewhere, and basically threw it all together and hoped for the best. It turned out quite well, and I think I’ll really enjoy it for lunch today. (OH MY GOODNESS! BBQ Man had some for breakfast! Is there any left???)

I served it with buttery polenta – although what I really wanted was the dense, chewy bread that we used to have at a Spanish restaurant in Adelaide. Next time I’ll actually plan to make this dish and will have good bread and olive oil to serve alongside it.

 Enjoy!

josashimi’s chickpea and chorizo stew

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

3 chorizo sausages

400 g canned chickpeas

1 medium red capsicum, cut to bite size pieces

2 medium zucchini, sliced into coins

1 small onion, finely chopped

2-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 cup red wine

800g canned, diced tomatoes

2 tbs Spanish smoked paprika

1 tbs dried thyme

Method:

Heat oil in pan, fry onions for 2-3 minutes, then add garlic and stir

Add red wine, capsicum and chorizo, cook until the capsicum softens and the chorizo browns

Add zucchini, stir for 2-3 minutes, then add tomatoes, paprika and thyme, simmer for another 5 minutes

Serve with crusty bread

This is Jamie Oliver’s take on this stew. His is a more complex version.

PS. BBQ Man tells me there’s ‘A little bit left’ … 

 

 

  3 bags of Squid Ink Pasta were highlights of my haul from the Hampton Food Festival last year

I first discovered squid in pasta in the late 90s, when I worked near an excellent delicatessen. Maria was the Italian lady who owned the store and she kept it stocked with all kinds of gourmet comestibles; squid ink pasta was just one of them. Funny thing was, she would often ask me, when I came in for a packet of the stuff, how I cooked it and what did it taste like!

Squid ink is just some dark coloured pigmentation that the squid releases when it is threatened. The ink clouds up the water, which then enables the squid to escape from its predator. Ancient Greeks used squid ink as ink, but these days, squid ink is mainly used in cooking. You can buy squid ink from gourmet delis, to make pasta sauce or to flavour some risotto. Or, you can even harvest the ink yourself, fresh from the squid! I’ve not had the pleasure of cooking squid ink myself, but I’m sure squid ink pasta itself comes close.

 Squid ink pasta is an arresting sight – it basically looks like matt, charcoal black stuff, completely unlike anything one would actually eat. It tastes ever-so-subtly of the sea, and I have to say, it gives me a thrill to twirl long, glossy black strands around my fork and convey it into my mouth. It’s like eating a dark little drama, a mouthful at a time. Try it and see.

  

Chorizo and Mushroom Sauce for Squid Ink Pasta

I came up with this sauce recipe the very first time I cooked squid  ink pasta and I pretty much make it every time we have squid ink pasta. The spicy, smoky chorizo marries well with the pasta’s seafood tang; the smooth, earthy mushrooms balances out the dish.

Ingredients:

3 chorizo sausages, sliced

300g fresh button mushrooms, sliced

1 x 800g canned tomatoes or 1 jar tomato passata

4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped

200g baby spinach, washed

salt and pepper, to taste

oil

Method:

Heat oil in a large pan, and garlic and stir for 3-4 minutes

Add chorizo slices, stirring for about 5 minutes, then add mushrooms

Once the mushrooms are just cooked, add the tomatoes and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes

Stir the spinach leaves through right at the end, allowing the leaves to just wilt and darken