I didn't post yesterday as mealtime was a very simple affair, not really worth writing a recipe for 'Pasta alla Ali'. But that's not to say this dish ain't lovely, and necessary sometimes, to cook such a simple meal. The title is something of a family joke as my wife, Ali can't cook - she once put a pizza in the oven and forgot about it only remembering in a panic halfway through her holiday abroad, returning to charred cinders. Then again she is beautiful and intelligent. Ali is the breadwinner not the breadmaker in our house - that is my job. So pasta alla ali is spaghetti with olive oil and parmesan cheese grated over, but little does she know that it is a close relative of the Naples dish that has garlic in. This is why junk food has never really taken off in Italy as it is so simple to make. So if there's nothing else in its a storecupboard hero of a dish which costs pennies.
Now we head off to another great culinary nation for inspiration - Spain. One of my favourite food countries, Spain has a lot to offer the frugal cook. The star of this dish is chorizo sausage (not to be mistaken for the salami style), which is spicy with smoked paprika. It will last for ages in the fridge and a little goes a long way as it is so packed with flavour. Here I am using tinned chickpeas as life is too short to wait for them to soak then cook, and anyway I can't tell the difference, and the cost is roughly the same. The simplicity and flavour of this dish is incredible and I like to serve it with a slice of toasted bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with oil.
Chorizo and Chickpea Stew
2 tins chickpeas, drained
1 large onion, chopped,
125g chorizo sausage, sliced
2 tins chopped tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1tbsp olive oil
handful chopped flatleaf parsley (optional)
1) In a large non stick pan heat the oil then fry the onions and chorizo until cooked. Add the garlic and cook for a minute longer.
2) Add the tomatoes and chickpeas and simmer for about 2 hours (or pop in a slow cooker for the day), checking it doesn't become too dry. At the end, season and add the parsley. Simple as that!