Quick chilli that turned into a curry…

Ah summer, with its salads and sorbets…the summer of 2012 however, brings with it the need for comfort food. Chilli! After finishing work, I just wanted to be wrapped up on the sofa under a blanket (I’m desperate to put the heating on but trying to save our oil for the official winter), so I didn’t want to slave in the kitchen for hours. I turned to the Nigella Express book for inspiration, here is the recipe and this is what happened…

I never buy pre-prepared sauces (apart from pesto), so this recipe was taking me out of my comfort zone somewhat. It requires one can of mixed spicy beans and a jar of chunky vegetable sauce for pasta. This is meant to help speed up the cooking process. Luckily there are plenty of good quality pre-prepared sauces out there.

You don’t need to add any oil as the first thing you do is fry some chorizo – these release enough of their own rich, spicy oil to accommodate the minced beef.

You really need to be a meat lover to enjoy this…

After cooking the meat, all the other ingredients go in and are left for 20mins. Now, everything was going to plan until I realised that my other half had bought curried beans rather than spicy beans (I have noticed from my last few posts that I do complain about his shopping skills, but I am grateful that he does the shopping while I work from home). I added some chilli flakes to ensure it would be spicy, but this chilli had suddenly turned into a curry.

Nevertheless, served with rice, it was delicious. And there’s plenty leftover for lunch tomorrow!

Spaghettini with prawns and chilli, Nigella Express

Apologies, I couldn’t find this recipe online, but it’s page 293 in the book.

I had to google spaghettini. What did we used to do without google? I look up actors who I’m convinced I’ve seen in another programme but can’t remember which one; wildlife or plants I notice on walks or in the garden that I don’t recognise; and the names of people I know.

I found spaghettini online (apparently it’s very thin spaghetti) but not in the shop. Instead I bought regular spaghetti and linguine. I opted for the latter because I was in the mood for flat rather than round. Apart from that, the only other thing I had to substitute was sunblush tomatoes for sun dried tomatoes (one is meant to be drier and wrinklier than the other but in my experience it really depends on the producer).

Quick and easy, and it required Nigella’s favourite again – spring onions. But can someone please tell me if it’s at all possible to mix ingredients into spaghetti (or linguine) properly?? I can never disperse everything and meat and vegetables usually end up at the bottom of the pan.

The flavours were delicate, which I like – I prefer to be able to taste my pasta.