I really have nothing to say about this recipe other than it’s easy. It’s also easy to eat way too much of it. It’s Nick’s default favourite pasta sauce, and tastes great with everything from packet pasta to freshly made gnocchi and it’s done in the time it takes to cook pasta. Sold? And I hadn’t even mentioned it had chorizo yet.
Once upon a time, when Nick lived in Kew, Friday was designated takeaway night. And the takeaway of choice was almost always the pizza and pasta shop, La Q. A pretty standard, local neighbourhood Italian joint, but their spaghetti amatriciana was strangely delicious. I couldn’t tell you why – it really was just spicy sausage, tomatoes, baby spinach and parmesan. He loved this pasta so much that we started trying to recreate it at home, though of course this was way back in the day when I could barely cook fried rice. In fact, I was such a bad cook that I ate supermarket meat pies most nights.
I’m not sure why exactly, but Nick chose to stick around, and lucky for him, my cooking evolved. A lot. This meal still remains on our menu of staples, maybe it’s because the ingredients for this recipe are staples in my pantry – garlic, chorizo, tomato, pasta. Everything else is optional.
And here’s my top tip for fancy looking pasta. Ready? It’s pretty revolutionary… Use a vegetable peeler to shave wafer thin slivers of parmesan for garnish. Gives it that restaurant quality look every time, even if you can’t be bothered twirling pasta onto the plate. It’s the first time I haven’t food styled a blog post in a long time, but here it is, our weeknight dinner go to.
I’ve scaled it to serve four, just because it’s pretty good even as leftovers.
- 400g pasta of your choice
- 2 chorizo
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ - 1 red chilli (or dried chilli flakes)
- 1½ cups tomato passata (or blend up a can of tomatoes)
- 200g baby spinach
- Freshly shaved parmesan, to fnish
- Put a big pot of water on to boil, for the pasta.
- While the water is coming to the boil, start cutting the ingredients for the pasta sauce. Halve the chorizo lengthwise, then slice thinly on the diagonal. Finely dice the garlic and chilli.
- Salt the pasta water, then add the pasta to the boiling water.
- In a separate frypan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook until lightly browned. Add the diced garlic and chilli, stirring to make sure they don't catch on the pan and burn.
- Add the tomato passata, reduce heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer while the pasta is cooking.
- When the pasta is almost done cooking, add the baby spinach to the sauce and allow to wilt.
- Drain pasta and add to the sauce; toss through.
- Serve with shaved parmesan.