Occasional recipes: rigatoni with chorizo and tomato

A most serendipitous discovery at a charity sale some years ago was The Essential Pasta Cookbook. Don’t you love those books with a plain, umambiguous title? No twists or spoilers here!

And from the pages of this book comes this recipe for rigatoni with chorizo and tomato, guaranteed to make you feel you’re sitting on a sun-warmed Valencian terrace even on a cold winter English evening.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the finished product, so you’ll have to take my word that it doesn’t look drastically different from the one they provide.

They say I say
1 x 250g/8oz chorizo sausage This is apparently meant to serve 4 (62.5g per person), making me think whoever wrote this must be on some kind of diet. A standard Tesco chorizo sausage is 225g and serves 3 (75g per head) quite comfortably.
375g/12oz rigatoni Unlike their parsimonious chorizo allocation, even for 4 this sounds excessive; it’s 94g per head. We go for 75g per head which is quite adequate. Incidentally, whereas I used to drain the pasta and then add it to the sauce, I have been educated into lifting it out of the water with a slotted spoon and mixing it in. This preserves a lot of the pasta water, giving far more delicacy to the overall flavour.
1/2-1 teaspoon chopped chili A good shake of chili flakes will do just as well. And it keeps the chili off your fingers, which is no bad thing.
Simmer for 15-20 minutes Not really. You can do it for the time it takes the pasta to cook, which is around 10-12 minutes for a good al dente feel. By then it has reduced enough for you to add pasta and sauce together and let it sit on a low heat while you enjoy a preprandial G&T.
Serve with sprinkled parsley We don’t use parsley, we use basil, and we mix it in at the stage where pasta and sauce are added together.

I hope you all got that thing about the G&T, right? And for wine, a good £3.99 plonk from Lidl – say, Montepulciano, for that added Mediterranean feel – will do very nicely.

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