Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Chorizo, Aubergine and Red Pepper Pasta Bake

I have to confess that I made this weeks ago but I hadn't blogged about it yet. The photos have just been sitting there all forlorn, looking up at me with hopeful eyes as I get distracted by exotically-named fish, or creamy smoked salmon. What's wrong with us, they seem to whimper? Why don't you write about us? I never knew computer files could make you feel so guilty.

The answer, which I'll whisper quickly so I don't hurt their feelings, is that the meal was just a bit...blah. Nothing wrong with it, I hasten to point out. Chorizo, roasted vegetables, cheese, pasta - all present and correct. But you know how some things come together to make something so much greater than the sum of its parts? This was pretty much exactly the sum of its parts. 

There was no magic, no wow, no "oh my god, this is so delicious". It just tasted like exactly what it was. And that was nice and everything, but not very exciting. You roast some chorizo and vegetables and combine them with pasta in tomato sauce and mozzarella. Then bake the whole lot with more parmesan on top. Then eat, and enjoy it, but feel under no compulsion to ever make it again.

I hate to be so downbeat but you know, we tell it how it is in the Dine at Mine household. It's a fact of life that while some recipes are amazing, some are just...blah. At least these damn photos have been blogged now. That's one more thing off my to-do list - and one more recipe that's not going back on the to-do list. 

Chorizo, Aubergine and Red Pepper Pasta Bake
Adapted from a recipe in Waitrose Weekend - you know, the little free paper they give out by the tills
Makes 3 large portions

- 1 aubergine
- 1 long red pepper
- about 20cm of chorizo sausage
- 3 portions of any dried pasta you like (we used about 275g of fusilli)
- olive oil, salt and pepper
- an onion, red or white, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- a tablespoonful of dried oregano
- a splash of balsamic vinegar
- a ball of mozzarella, torn into small pieces
- parmesan to grate over the top

Heat your oven to 200C and cut the aubergine, pepper and chorizo into chunks. Toss with a little bit of oil and roast in the oven for about half an hour, shaking once or twice.

While that's roasting, cook the pasta as normal in boiling water, and drain once done. Sweat the onion and garlic in a saucepan until softened, then add in the tin of tomatoes, seasoning, oregano and splash of balsamic. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes into a thick sauce.

Everything should be ready at about the same time so just mix together the roasted vegetables/chorizo, tomato sauce and pasta, add in the bits of mozzarella and decant to an oven-proof dish. Grate more parmesan over the top, then bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until the mozzarella has melted, the sauce is bubbling and the parmesan on top is golden and crunchy.

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