Tagliatelle with Chorizo, Garlic and Sundried Tomatoes

sundried tomato chorizo tagliatelle (500x373)

This could be a really easy quick meal for you – not many ingredients, not much preparation, ready within 15 minutes.   And not a Jamie 15 minutes – A real 15 minutes.   Just so long as you don’t make your own pasta, which I did.   But it was still quick because it was leftover pasta.   I’d made it the day before – I just needed to drop it into some boiling water and cook it for a few minutes.

Of course, you don’t need to make your own pasta.   This will still be lovely with bought pasta.  I’m just having a bit of a love affair with my pasta machine at the moment and that’s why most of my pasta dishes have changed from penne to tagliatelle.   If I wasn’t making pasta, I’d have used penne for this, but that’s just me.   You can use any type of pasta you like, even spaghetti, which is always way down at the bottom of my list.   I accept that some people may love it.   And that’s ok.

It wasn’t just the pasta that was a leftover.   The sundried tomatoes were too.   Both were leftover from the same dish I posted a little while ago – Basil, sundried tomato and mozzarella ravioli with sunflower seed pesto.   Even the parmesan that I grated on top (after the picture was taken) was leftover from that pasta dish the day before.  Both dishes might have used a few similar flavours, while at the same time being completely different.   This was a more Spanish flavoured dish and the chorizo, garlic and tomatoes together are a taste combination that I love.   The sundried tomatoes add a lovely rich tomatoey strength to the dish and the fresh just slightly soft wedges of tomato add a  burst of juciness each time you eat one.


Ingredients – Serves 2

Dried pasta – enough for 2 people.   Or see my fresh pasta recipe here.

Olive oil

Approx 15cm piece of chorizo, sliced

2 tbsp chopped sundried tomatoes

2 fresh tomatoes, sliced

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Black pepper


How to Make Tagliatelle with Chorizo, Garlic and Sundried Tomatoes

1. Heat a little olive oil in a wok or frying pan.   Add the chorizo and cook until it begins to crisp up a little.

2. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

3. Then add the sundried tomatoes and fresh tomatoes. Cook just until the tomatoes begin to soften but not break down completely.

4. Add the pasta and a little of the cooking liquid to the pan with the chorizo.   Stir to coat the pasta in the sauce and then serve with  a little parmesan grated on the top.

I am linking this to Tinned TomatoesPasta Please, hosted by Slice Off Me this month. The theme is olive oil. As I used leftovers for this I am linking to Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary’s No Waste Food Challenge, hosted by Jibber Jabber UK this month and also to Credit Crunch Munch, hosted jointly by Fab Food 4 All and Fuss Free Flavours.

pasta please logono waste food challengeCredit-Crunch-Munchbrilliant blog posts

Baked Cod with Chorizo Crust

I love chorizo and have been working through my old blog posts to create a recipe index recently.   When I look at recipes in the sausage category, I see that more than half of them have chorizo in them.  It just makes everything better, meatballs, burgers, omelettes, soups.   I really should try a few variations, but let me share just one more recipe with you before I do that.

I found this recipe on the Hairy Biker’s website after realising that although I love seeing them cook, I don’t think I remember ever actually making one of their recipes before.   As there is the Hairy Bikers – Bloggers Know Best Challenge, hosted by Jo’s Kitchen, I felt it was high time I discovered their recipes in my own kitchen.   My love of chorizo naturally led me to try their recipe for baked cod with chorizo crust.

I did make a few small changes. I used breadcrumbs I had made myself a couple of weeks earlier, rather than making the breadcrumbs as I made the dish.   I also missed out the lime zest from the crust and didn’t put as much salt in, as chorizo has plenty of flavour already.   Another change I might make next time would be to not bother with the parmesan cheese at all.   I don’t think it really adds a lot to the dish and is not really a perfect match for the lime or the paprika in the chorizo.   I also think lemon would work just as well.  As you can see, I baked some extra slices of chorizo to serve alongside the fish and also made some small spicy roast potatoes so it was quite a filling dish in the end, although I did have some lettuce too. As I said, I would make a few changes next time, but I love the basic recipe for a chorizo crust and will be making it again.  The original recipe can be seen here and the way I made it is below.

baked cod with chorizo crust (500x318)

Ingredients – serves 2

2 cod fillets

1 lime

50g chorizo

30g breadcrumbs

1 garlic clove, crushed

1/2 tbsp grated parmesan

1 tsp dried parsley

Black pepper


How to Make Baked Cod with Chorizo Crust

1. Slice the chorizo and fry in a little oil for a couple of minutes.   Add the breadcrumbs and stir well so the flavoured oil coats the breadcrumbs.  Continue to cook for another couple of minutes.   Then tip onto a plate and leave to cool.

2. Squeeze half the lime juice onto the cod and leave in the fridge to marinate for half an hour.

3. Put the chorizo and breadcrumbs in a food processor and blend until it all resembles breadcrumbs.   Then add the parmesan, garlic, parsley, black pepper and salt.  Blitz again just to combine all the ingredients.

4. Put the fish on a baking tray.   Cover with the breadcrumb mixture and press it down a little.

5. Bake the fish in the oven at 180C for about 15-18 minutes.   Serve with extra lime wedges.


Tomato and Chorizo Pasta

There is nothing more guaranteed to make a tomatoey meal tastier than a little bit of chorizo.  I love it and almost always have it in the fridge ready to add to a quick meal at a moment’s notice.  This pasta dish is a variation on my everyday pasta with tomato and chilli sauce, which I make every couple of weeks, sometimes even weekly.   I can easily prepare it at the last minute if I haven’t thought about what to make for dinner that day.   I always have pasta, onions and tinned tomatoes in the cupboard and tomatoes, chillies and peppers in the fridge.   I love the chunks of fresh tomato in this but you could miss them out, and even miss out the red pepper and the chilli pepper.  It’s the chorizo that is the key ingredient and gives the sauce its distinctive taste.  The oil leaks out of the chorizo and flavours the whole dish with paprika, but I also like to add a little extra smoked paprika for an even more intense flavour.

I am linking this to Pantry Party at the Law Student’s Cookbook.   The December theme is Anything Goes.

chorizo pasta (500x387)

Ingredients – serves 2

1 small red onion, diced

1/2 red pepper, diced

2 small cooking chorizo sausages, diced

400g tinned tomatoes

2 tomatoes, sliced

1 red chilli pepper, finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Enough pasta for 2 people

Cheese to serve (optional)

How to Make Tomato and Chorizo Pasta

1. Heat a little oil in a wok or saucepan.   Add the diced chorizo and fry until beginning to brown.   Add the onion, red pepper, crushed garlic and chilli pepper and continue to cook until softened.

2. Add the fresh and tinned tomatoes along with the paprika and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Serve the sauce with the pasta.  Sprinkle grated cheese on the top if you like.

Mediterranean Meatballs

For the past seven weeks I haven’t had time to cook anything new or blogworthy and as a result the blog has been completely neglected. So, it was a shock (although it shouldn’t have been) when I received my Secret Recipe Club assignment and I realized I was going to have to cook something new from another blog and somehow find time to write about it – all before 11 June.  Before I had the baby I hadn’t quite realized how little time there would be left for blogging and how full my brain would be of baby things that there would be almost no space left to think about food.  Although I would like to, I just don’t seem to be able to think about food any more so in some senses the SRC has been a good way of getting back into blogging as it has focused me on one blog, Thru the Bugs on my Windshield, and forced me to find a recipe I wanted to cook and then given me a deadline in which to do it.  Without it, I doubt I would be writing this right now and I wouldn’t have discovered a delicious new dish.  Thru the Bugs on my Windshield is written by Suzanne, who is the group B SRC host.  She does a fantastic job each month and has a wonderful blog with beautiful pictures as well.  Lots of her more recent posts are her own Secret Recipe Club assignments so I searched for a recipe that was her own and soon Mai’s Meatballs and Spaghetti Sauce stood out.  Mai is what Suzanne’s grandchildren call her and I can imagine they love this recipe.  I have to admit I made a few changes, mainly due to lack of time and organisation.  I didn’t have fresh parsley or dried basil so the herbs are not exactly the same and I used chorizo instead of hot Italian sausage. I also didn’t bother to properly convert the quantities into metric and so guessed all the amounts. Even so, I’m sure the result was fairly similar and it tasted fantastic. I loved the chorizo in the meatballs and the depth of flavour in the sauce.   Usually I am lazy and don’t cook my tomato sauces for as long as recipes state, but this time I did (well, longer than normal anyway) and I could tell that it really made a difference to the richness of the sauce.   As I made a few changes, have a look at Suzanne’s blog for the original recipe.   My version is below.

I am also linking this to Food of the Month Club hosted by Leslie of La Cocina de Leslie.  The food this month is ground (minced) beef.

Ingredients for Meatballs

300g minced beef

Approx 8cm chorizo, diced into small cubes

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/4 onion,finely diced

1/2 cup of breadcrumbs

1 egg, beaten

Generous grind of black pepper

1 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp dried sage

1 tsp dried parsley

Ingredients for Sauce

400g  can chopped tomatoes

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 onion,diced

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

Black pepper

1/2 tsp sugar

100ml beef stock

2 bay leaves

Freshly grated parmesan (to serve)

How to Make Mediterranean Meatballs

1. First make the sauce.  Put a little olive oil in a saucepan and cook the onion till softened.  Add the garlic.  Cook for a couple of minutes then add the tomatoes and all the other ingredients.  Simmer very gently for at least an hour.

2. To make the meatballs put all the ingredients into a bowl. Mix together with your hands and then form into meatballs.

3. Heat a little oil in a frying pan.  Add the meatballs.  Cook for five minutes then turn. Cook for another five minutes.

4. Transfer the meatballs to the tomato sauce. Stir so the sauce coats all the meatballs.  Continue to cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes. Serve with pasta and grated parmesan.

Click below to see what other SCR participants have made.

Inspired by Masterchef: Tortilla Espagnol

I’m not really a fan of normal omelettes.   For some reason I get bored before I’ve finished eating them.    Maybe that’s why I haven’t eaten one for a long long time.   I do however, love spanish omelette and probably make one about once a month.   Maybe it’s the added potato that gives it more substance.   Maybe it’s just that I love putting chorizo in it, and chorizo changes so many simple recipes from just nice to delicious.    In fact, I have previously blogged about spanish omelette and that is the way I normally make it.   I add peppers and onions as well as the chorizo, and I just dice the potatoes.   This time, Inspired by Masterchef, I decided to try and make it the way it was made on the show.   Instead of just dicing the potatoes, I sliced them thinly using the food processor, and instead of just pouring the egg into the pan on top of all the other ingredients, I mixed everything together in a bowl before putting everything together into the frying pan.    Because there were no extra vegetables to bulk out the filling, there was a higher proportion of egg in this tortilla and because of the way the potatoes were sliced, they interlocked more and so the tortilla held together better when it was taken out of the pan and could more easily be eaten with your fingers like a pizza.    This did also mean that there was  less texture to the tortilla and my husband missed the peppers and extra chilli that I usually add to my spanish omelettes.   I was happy with it and did feel it was a bit more authentic than my normal method, but whether it will change the way I make this dish for ever, is still not decided.   Next time I may try a combination between the two.

How you like to eat omelettes?


6 eggs

1 large potato

1 chorizo sausage

2 tbsp grated manchego or other hard cheese

Black Pepper


How to Make Tortilla Espagnol

1. Using the slicing blade on the food processor, slice the potato into thin slices.    Boil for 5 minutes then drain.

2. Chop the chorizo into small pieces and fry in a frying pan until it is becoming crispy on the outsides.

3. In a bowl, beat the eggs.    Season and add the manchego.

4. Remove the chorizo from the frying pan, leaving the oil in the bottom of the pan.    Add the chorizo and potato slices to the egg mixture.   Stir so all the potato is coated in egg.

5. Put the potato and egg mixture back in the pan that the chorizo has been cooking in.   Turn the heat down and cook over a low heat for about 20 minutes, until the egg has just set.

6. When ready, put a plate on top and turn the pan over to turn out the tortilla

Inspired by Masterchef: Chorizo Potato Risotto with Sea Bass

My favourite food programme is back on: Masterchef!   Last year when watching it I started a series of posts called Inspired by Masterchef and so this year I’m hoping to do the same.   Each week, after watching Masterchef, I will try to make something inspired by the show, to post by the end of the following week.   As each year gets harder and the processes and ingredients used get more complex for just an ordinary cook at home, I know that this is going to be a real challenge for me, especially as I have only just over a week to get the right ingredients and make each recipe.  Some of the recipes used on the show do get posted on the BBC food website, but that would be just too easy, I want to be a bit more creative.   Therefore, some of the recipes I post will attempt to recreate the recipe exactly, but based on my memory, whereas others will be a looser interpretation.

Well now, on to my first recipe.  I’d heard of potato risottos before and loved the idea of making a risotto with finely diced potato rather than rice.  So of course, when one of the contestants decided to make a potato, chive, chorizo and orange risotto with sea bream, I liked the sound of it.   Well, except for the orange juice, and neither did John and Greg.  Of course, for my recipe, out went the orange juice, and in came some lemon juice as a replacement, which I’m sure would have been much more popular among the Masterchef judges, if only the contestant hadn’t tried to be so ‘interesting’.

It’s important to use waxy rather than floury potatoes for this, as floury ones will disintegrate in the stock as they are in such small pieces.  I know when you look at my picture, the pieces of potato don’t look that small, but they did look small to me when I was chopping them up!    Maybe next time I will attempt a bit more refinement and dice the potato more finely.   That’s the only change I’ll make.   The chorizo and pimenton give the dish a lovely slightly smoky flavour and the taste really soaks into the pieces of potato.   The lemon juice is very subtle and keeps the whole dish light.    So overall, I’m very pleased with my first dish of the series and looking forward to my next one.  In fact, I’m so pleased I’m planning to cook this for quests, not just me and my husband!

If anyone else is as big a Masterchef fan as me and would like to join me in this challenge, let me know and I’ll provide a link to your recipe as well.

Ingredients – serves 2

2 sea bass fillets

5 small waxy potatoes (depending on size, enough for 2 people)

15g chives

1 clove garlic, crushed

100g fresh chorizo sausage, diced

A little chicken stock (approx 200ml)

1/2 tsp pimenton (sweet smoked paprika)

Black pepper

Juice of 1 lemon

How to make Chorizo Potato Risotto with Sea Bass

1. Dice the potatoes into small rectangles.   Heat a little oil in a saucepan.   Add the chorizo.   Cook for about three minutes, stirring occasionally.  Then add the garlic and cook for another minute.

2. Add the potatoes to the saucepan.   Stir to cover in all the oil from the chorizo.   Sprinkle with the pimenton.

3. Add the stock, so the potatoes are just covered, but not swimming in the liquid.   Bring to the boil then lower to a simmer.    Cover the pan.

4. Check the pan every so often and stir.    If it does start to get too dry, before it is fully cooked, add a tiny dash of water from the kettle.   It will take about 20 minutes for the potato to be fully cooked, soak up the flavours and become a little soft.  During this stage, cook the sea bass.    I like to fry in a little oil so the skin goes crispy, but you could grill or steam it.

5. Just before serving, stir through the chives, season with black pepper and add the lemon juice.

6. Serve the sea bass on top of the risotto.

Potato Rosti with Chorizo and Pepper Ragout

There are some things that I should have done fifteen years ago.   One of those things is make this rosti and sauce from a small book called, Kartoffeln Leicht Gemacht (Potatoes made easy), that I was given by one of the teachers at the school in Germany where I spent a year as an English assistant.   I think she hoped I would go home and create some German dishes to remind me of my time there.  Well, I looked at the pictures!  Not just once but a few times over the years, but I never actually got around to making anything.

Well, over the past few months I have been looking at the entries each month for Dom’s random recipe challenge at Belleau Kitchen.  But yet again, I hadn’t actually got around to doing this challenge.  I suppose I was a bit scared of the randomness of it all.   What if I got something I didn’t like?  Just forget it for that month and hope for better luck the next time?   Well, this month Dom asked us to take the first recipe book we’d ever bought or been given and pick something randomly from that.   Well, it turned out to be just the push I needed to use this book.

The sauce was quite rich and really tasty.  The rosti was great tastewise but was a little soggy in places.   I think squeezing the water out first would help it to crisp up a bit more or possibly just cooking it a little longer.  Even so,  I will definitely be making it again.


For Ragout

1 red pepper, roughly chopped

1 green pepper, roughly chopped

1 onion, sliced

3 inches of chorizo, chopped (this was a German sausage in the original recipe)

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp paprika

For the rosti

2 large potatoes

1 onion

Small knob butter


Black pepper

How to make Potato Rosti with Chorizo and Pepper Ragout

1. Grate the potatoes in a food processor.  Ideally, then put the grated potato in a clean teatowel and squeeze the excess water out. This will help the rosti to crispen up.

2. Heat a little oil  in a frying pan.   Dice the onion and add to the pan when the oil is hot.  Fry until soft then add the grated potato, salt and pepper.   Fry, stirring for a while.

3. Then flatten the potato and turn the heat down so it cooks slowly.

4. Put all the ragout ingredients into a saucepan.   Add about 6 tablespoons of water. Bring to the boil then turn down to simmer and put the lid on.

5. After about ten minutes turn over the rosti by putting a plate on top, turning the pan over so the rosti falls onto the plate and then sliding the rosti back into the frying pan.

6. After about 10 more minutes, the rosti should be ready.  If necessary, put under the grill for  few minutes to crisp up the top of the rosti.   Serve  with the ragout on the side.

Inspired by Masterchef: Gnocchi with Chorizo and Garlic

The poor contestant, Claudia, who made these gnocchi didn’t last long and was out of the show the same week, but not because of the gnocchi.   So that does not mean they are no good.   Oh no, anything with chorizo, garlic and tomato just has to be good.   That’s my view anyway.   In fact, if you don’t want to make the gnocchi, you could even serve this with pasta or shop-bought gnocchi.   It’s good, very good, and I will probably make the exact same sauce again to go with the gnocchi in the freezer, rather than experiment with anything new.  After all, when you find a perfect gnocchi sauce, you want to spend more time with them.

But, back to Masterchef.   The contestants’ challenge was to cook something that used egg, but besides that they could pick any ingredients they wanted from quite a large selection.  I tried to decide what I would have made if I’d been there and I decided I’d probably have made something coated in breadcrumbs.   People say that in that situation your mind goes blank and it’s strange, even at home and not having to do the challenge there and then, I found it difficult to think of anything interesting using egg.

Anyway, I would not have thought of gnocchi, but well done to Claudia, you may not have got through but I loved your dish.

If you’d like to join me in making a dish Inspired by Masterchef then the details are here.

Ingredients for Gnocchi – serves 4, half the gnocchi can be frozen

430g mashed potato

130g flour

1 egg, beaten


Black Pepper

Ingredients for Sauce – serves 2 or double the quantities

4 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly

Approx 15cm of chorizo, sliced thinly

Approx 15 cherry tomatoes, halved

Parmesan, grated

Olive oil

How to make Gnocchi with Chorizo and Garlic

1. Mash the potatoes.   Use a potato ricer if possible or mash the potato then pass through a sieve.  This gets rid of any lumps.  Put in a mixing bowl.

2. Sieve the flour onto the bowl of potato. Add the beaten egg.   Mix with a spoon so it forms a dough.

3. Flour the work surface and your hands and knead for about 5 minutes.  Keep adding extra flour as necessary to stop it sticking.

4. Divide the dough into four.   Divide each in half again then roll out into a long sausage about one centimetre wide.   Slice into gnocchi about one centimetre long each.  Repeat with all the dough.   If only serving 2 people, put half the gnocchi in the freezer.   Let them freeze individually on a lined baking tray, then put them all together in a bag when they are frozen.

5. Put a saucepan of water on to boil.   At the same time put a little olive oil in a wok.  When hot, add the chorizo, stir, cooking on both sides.  The chorizo should release oil, turning the oil red.   Add the garlic and tomatoes.  Keep stirring so it doesn’t burn.

6. Add the gnocchi to the saucepan of boiling water.   Boil for about 3 minutes.   They should all rise to the surface.

7. Drain the gnocchi and add to the wok.   Stir so all the gnocchi are coated in the sauce.   Serve with grated parmesan.

Roasted Peppers, Tomatoes and Chorizo

This isn’t really a proper recipe, just a way of using more of that chorizo I was telling you about earlier.  I just sliced some peppers, onions and chorizo, quartered some tomatoes, threw them in a roasting tin and cooked in the oven for about 1/2 an hour.   The chorizo makes lots of oil so I drained everything on kitchen roll before putting inside a pitta bread for a delicious lunchtime sandwich.  I was pretty full afterwards and needed to go for a run to burn it all off but it was worth it.   Still got more chorizo left but think I’m ready for a few days off.   Enough time to start thinking, what should I make next week?

Before roasting

And after.

Spanish Omelette with Chorizo

We’re still using up the chorizo we were given a few weeks back and today I decided to put it in an omelette.  I’m not keen on ordinary omelette – too much egg.  But I really like Spanish ones.  You may disagree but I feel like the egg is there to hold all the ingredients together, it shouldn’t be the main ingredient/taste itself.  If it is, I probably won’t like it.


6 eggs

1 potato, diced

1 red pepper, sliced

1 chilli pepper, finely sliced

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 onion, sliced

100g chorizo, diced

How to make Spanish Omelette with Chorizo

1. Boil the potatoes for about 8 minutes.

2. In a large frying pan, fry the onion with a little oil.   When soft add the peppers, chillies and garlic.    A few minutes later add the diced chorizo.   Cook for a few minutes then add the potatoes.  Spread evenly over the bottom of the pan.

3. Beat the eggs and pour into the pan.  Tip the pan around to make sure the eggs cover all the ingredients.  Turn the heat down very low and cook for about 15 minutes.

4. Put the frying pan under the grill to make sure all the egg on the top is cooked and there are no runny bits.    Serve in slices with green salad.