Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Easy Peasy Pasta... though no peas, please!

I don't like peas. Scratch that. I hate peas. In fact, you may say I'm almost phobic. I was once almost reduced to tears when a (so-called) friend saved some peas from his meal at the pub, then pinged them at me when I was trapped in the car. Peas are small, green and evil. They make a squelchy 'pop' when you bite into them. One pea, hidden away in some chicken-fried rice, will pop and contaminate the entire mouthful with its evil juice. Bleurgh.

Though I have decided I am going to wean myself away from this irrational phobia. I managed to eat a few peas recently, hidden in a highly spiced, highly textured curry. It was a big step. The pop was almost unnoticeable.

I couldn't decide what to call this dish! It's my default pasta dish, which I almost always have In Case of Emergency. It is super-easy, super-fast (about as long as it takes to cook the pasta!), and super-tasty! A couple of possible variations mean I always have the ingredients. And it never contains peas.

ICE Pasta (In Case of Emergency)

I'm glad to have an entry to Ruth's Presto Pasta Night this Friday - the round up last week was fabulous!

  • 125g pasta per person (or however much you want!)
  • a hunk of chorizo, diced
  • 1 punnet chestnut mushrooms, halved or quartered depending on size
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 bag wild rocket, washed
  • Small handful pine nuts
  • olive oil for frying
  • dried red chilli flakes
  • Salt and pepper
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water. When cooked, drain, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan to a medium heat, add the pine nuts (no oil) and lightly toast.

Remove the pine nuts to a bowl, heat a glug of olive oil in the pan, add the chorizo and fry until the chorizo oil starts to come out.

Add the mushrooms to the pan and toss so they soak up the oil from the chorizo. Fry until the mushrooms start to cook, then add the garlic, red chilli flakes to taste, and salt and pepper. Continue to fry for another couple of minutes, or until the mushrooms are cooked through.

Once the pasta is cooked, add the rocket to the pasta pan, add the reserved cooking liquid,then add the drained pasta. Stir and allow the rocket to wilt slightly - the heat of the pasta and the water should do this for you. Add the mushroom and chorizo and mix well.

Serve with the toasted pine nuts scattered on top!

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Ruth Daniels said...

Great dish, I love "easy peasy" recipes...with or without real peas. Thanks for sharing. It will be first up for next week's Presto Pasta Night Roundup.

Randi said...

this looks easy and tasty! thanks so much for a delicious idea.