Home > Mains, Recipe > Chorizo and Vegetable Pasta Bake

Chorizo and Vegetable Pasta Bake

Chorizo  Veg Pasta Bake

Some might question the purpose of baking this. After all, you’ve made a sauce, cooked some pasta, sorted some veg, why not just stir it all together and eat? And yet, a quick blitz in a hot oven makes this all the more worthwhile. Everything seems to meld together, the flavours of the sauce, slightly charred vegetables, and salty, warming chorizo, and the textures change too, a little drier (in a good way), a little extra bite. More hearty, even. And if that isn’t enough to sell it, then bake it because how else will you get chunks of mozarella to melt into stringy little pockets of deliciousness throughout? Hmm?

Chorizo and Vegetable Pasta Bake (serves 4. Well. Probably wouldn’t leave 6 starving either.)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 x 400g tins good chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and chopped into chunks
  • 1 aubergine, sliced lengthways into 1cm thick slices, then each slice cut into chunks
  • 100g chorizo, (or about half of a 225g chorizo sausage, which is the usual weight of the ones I buy), cut into 1cm ish chunks (cut 1cm thick coins from the sausage and halve them)
  • 350g dried Rigatoni, or other pasta of your choice 
  • 125g mozarella ball, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium pan, add the onion and garlic and fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes or so, until soft but not browned. Tip in the tinned tomatoes, stir in the basil, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes or so, and season.

While the sauce is cooking, heat the other spoonful of oil (or less if you need it, you’re aiming for the thinnest film of oil you can manage) in a non stick frying pan, and add the aubergine and pepper chunks. Fry for 5 – 10 minutes, until cooked through, but trying to avoid stirring too much, to let them blacken and char a little, in places. Remove to a plate, and then tumble the chorizo pieces into the pan, frying for 3-4 minutes until they begin to release their oil and crispen a little.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions in a large pan of boiling, salted water. Drain well, return to the pan, (or a large bowl, but I’m trying to save you some washing up), and pour in the chorizo straight from its pan, and then the peppers and aubergine. Finally, pour over the tomato sauce and stir everything well, so the sausage and vegetables are distributed through, and everything has a light coating of sauce.

Tip the whole lot into an ovenproof dish, and dot the mozarella chunks over the top. Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is nicely melted. Serve with salad, or, and see previous ramblings on carb-overloading, some nice bread.

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