Tuesday, March 1

Cheats chorizo spaghetti....

I actually made this last week, but with all the sad news coming from Christchurch, and a wee virus I have not really felt like blogging, or indeed doing too much of anything. It is so terribly sad seeing the devastation and hearing the sad stories of lives completely turned on their head. I am really not sure I would cope in such trying circumstances, but sadly people don't have a lot of choice. Like many of you we have donated to the Red Cross, and on Pru's behalf to the SPCA and Paw Justice, it feels like very little, but I hope every little will help......

This is a comfort food meal, which seems very appropriate right now. It's a recipe from River Cottage Everyday by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall that caught my eye as soon as I got the book, and I have finally got around to making.
It is basically a pork mince mixture spiced with the same spices contained in chorizo sausage, which can be stored in a container in the fridge for a week (don't be alarmed, the small amount of alcohol and spice preserve the meat) and used in a variety of ways. I love this sort of recipe. It is delicious, and I love the feeling when I get home dinner is already on the way. But please be aware it would take a better photographer than I to make mince look terribly attractive, you will just have to trust me it tastes way better than it looks.......

Cheats Chorizo

500 gr Pork mince
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 clove garlic, grated
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
35 ml red or white wine
fresh ground black pepper

Put everything into a bowl and mix together, I find it easiest to do this with my hands. Pack into a Tupperware container and store in the fridge for up to a week. This is especially good if you let it sit for at least 24 hours before using, so all the flavours have a chance to develop.

I first used this to make the following spaghetti dish that was particularly delish.....yep, I will say so myself. But the previous caveat applies, we cant all be gorgeous in photos.

Chorizo and tomato spaghetti

This serves 2, but can easily be doubled

1/2 quantity cheats chorizo
Splash of olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 red chilli, finely chopped (to taste)
420 gr tin of tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Splash of wine
Splash of cream
Fresh coriander or parsley, chopped
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

In a medium frying pan heat the oil, then add your chorizo and brown for about 5 minutes, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Add the chopped onion and continue frying until the onion is soft and the mince has no pink bits showing. Tip in your tin of tomatoes and chilli, stirring and breaking up the tomatoes to create a sauce.Sprinkle in the oregano and add the wine, stir again and bubble until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly, this will take 5-10 minutes. Finally add the cream, check your seasoning and serve over cooked spaghetti , or any pasta you like actually. I like a sprinkle of parsley on top, and grated Parmesan if you have no problem confusing Italy and Spain....

I used the remaining pork mixture to make a rice dish that was also rather lovely, I will post that later in the week.

If you are wondering if it is worth buying sweet and hot paprika, can I encourage you to go ahead. Not only are the tins lovely, but the flavours lend themselves to so many different dishes.
If you look at the top of the page I have added a new tab, to bring together recipes which use more "specialized" ingredients. If I buy something new, which perhaps costs a little more or I am unfamiliar with, I like to know I will be using it in more than just one recipe, so it does not sit on my shelf until I biff the container out almost full in six months time.

If you feel the same, keep checking back, I will be cataloguing recipes so that new spice, or bottle of pomegranate molasses or whatever will get used....!

Finally, a completely gratuitous chilli photo, just to prove my garden isn't a complete waste land. Now I just have to figure out what to do with them all......


  1. Love your crop of chillies, I pinched some from a friends plant only last week. My gardening is getting even slacker, I stool my nose into my herb garden at the weekend and found a huge crop of basil! While P is in ChCh he has left me in charge of the watering of the plants too.... I can see the plants praying for rain already.

  2. Tee he, I am praying on their behalf! I cant talk really, first thing Mum does when she comes over is get a jug out & start watering....bad daughter!:)

  3. I hacked my chilli bushes back last year when they were looking a bit worse for the wear and they rewarded me for the "make over" with over 100 chillis this year! The only problem is that these babies are fiery hot! Your cheats chorizo sounds simply delicious.

  4. 'cheat's chorizo' - what a cool idea...will def give this a go!

  5. Yum. I would eat that in a heartbeat. I love the idea of using all the spices from 1 thing for something else.

  6. my little tin of spanish smoked paprika its got a picture of a 1960's chick and fella on it holding hands and skipping .... hilarious ...

    got a yummy chilli jam recipe over at my place if you are keen its hot hot hot ...

    i think your photos look delicious ....

  7. Perfect comfort food & that is one gorgeous looking chilli plant!

  8. I've fallen in love with those tins of paprika and am going to go out and find some for my own cupboard!

    Can't wait to start eating stuff like this as autumn sets in. Comfort food indeed!

  9. I'm growing chillis for the first time ever - admittedly, I only have one plant, but I've only recently 'learnt' to eat chilli.

    You are such an inspired and enthusiastic cook. I used to be, too, in the distant past...wonder what happened?

  10. Comfort food definitely the order of the day.

    Love the sound of this 'cheats chorizo', just my kind of recipe! I love good paprika, not sure why we ever used it before the good stuff started appearing in stores.

  11. Give Peter Gordon's tomato and chilli jam a whirl! Is amazing - has an asian twist to it which is just lovely! Am a big fan of your cheats chorizo!

  12. Thanks for commenting everyone, glad you like the recipe!
    Have made good use of those lovely chilli's also...

  13. FINALLY made this....about to cook up your pasta recipe for dinner...hope you are well :)

    1. Yay, hope you enjoyed it:) All good here, thought of you yesterday when I made porridge for breakfast, not as posh as yours sadly!


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