This recipe is a lovely winter warmer for a grey winter's day and is another winner from the latest addition to my cookbook shelf (ok...bookcase), Nigella Kitchen. This is turning out to be a great book, full of loads of accessible, inventive and, most importantly, tasty recipes.
This particular recipe was a breeze to make. Once I had prepped the ingredients it only took 15-20 minutes to cook, and much of that was hands-off.
The chorizo, tomatoes and apricots provided lovely colourful and contrasting flavours and the chickpeas added substance and turned it into a really filling meal (the portion sizes are generous to say the least). I have to admit I was a little mystified by the fried spaghetti as they didn't really add much to the dish flavour-wise but they looked quite nice!
Chorizo & Chickpea Stew
(adaped from Nigella Kitchen by Nigella Lawson)
2 x 15ml tablespoons regular olive oil
50g spaghettini or vermicelli, turned into 3cm lengths (I used regular spaghetti)
500g bulgar wheat
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons sea salt flakes or 1 teaspoon pouring salt
1 litre water
2 bay leaves
250g chorizo, cut into coins and then halved
4 x 15ml tablespoons amontillado sherry
100g soft dried apricots, snipped into pieces with scissors
2 x 400g cans chickpeas or mixed beans, rinsed and drained in a sieve
2 x 400g cans cherry tomatoes, plus 1 1/2 cans water
salt and pepper to taste
fresh coriander to serve (not in this house!)
1) Warm the olive oil in a thick-bottomed pan on a medium heat. Fry the pasta bits in the oil for a minute, stirring, until they look like slightly scorched straws
2) Add the bulgar wheat and stir for another minute or two. Stir in the cinnamon and salt, and then pour the water into the pan. Add the bay leaves and bring to a boil, then turn down to the lowest heat, add a lid, and leave for 15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.
3) Put another thick-bottomed saucepan on a medium heat, add the chorizo pieces and fry until the orange oil runs out. Then add the sherry and let it bubble away for a minute before adding the apricots, chickpeas and canned tomatoes. Half-fill each empty tomato can with water and swill out into the pan. Put on a high heat to bubble for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4) Serve with the bulgar wheat and chopped coriander if you're that way inclined.
Serves 4 (generously)