We Love Cooking! + [red onion]

:: Whoohaa Chorizo Bean Pasta and a 60th Wedding Anniversary Dinner!


My Grandparents Heading On Their Honeymoon To Wicklow In 1950

It's definitely a sign you had a fairly packed weekend when you only start to relax on a Monday morning! I was working on Friday, Saturday and Sunday but Saturday night was the big occasion, 25 family members, young and old packed into my parents front room to eat their way through a three course meal and celebrate my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary.

They are my grandparents on my moms side of the family, they married in 1950 and made a living as sculptors, all the while raising my mom and her 3 brothers and 3 sisters. My grandmother has a fantastic knowledge of food and I can talk with her for hours about her delicious rich recipes (if we can steal a moment away from my granddad's well trained 3rd degree questioning skills!) which always seem to transform some extremely unique off cut of meat into a melt in your mouth, one pot wonder. I love how she can tell me she had nothing in the house, yet then go into intricate detail of how she whipped up an old French recipe so delicious it would put the great Elizabeth David to shame. Needless to say that love of food has been passed down the line, so the food at gathering such as this are normally of a certain standard! Anything less of course and you can expect a full critique by the time the coffee and teas are served!

On the menu was a delicious crab salad with lemon zest, for mains we had hefty portions of slow roasted lamb shanks in red wine with a tomato and white bean stew, and to wrap things up we had the delicious mocha meringues with whiskey cream, chocolate sauce and toasted hazelnuts which we cooked for the event in Paris during the spring. All this was followed by an amazing cheeseboard from Sheridans Cheesemongers which despite the big helpings for dinner was devoured!
So things are back to normality this week thankfully so here's today's recipe, enjoy!

Whoohaa Chorizo Bean Pasta!
Pasta is definitely a super-cheap store cupboard ingredient which can easily be transformed into hundreds of delicious dishes. This is one of my favourite ways of making the most of it. When making a tomato sauce, the key to getting the best flavour out of it is to cook it slowly. I love to add a good glug of red wine while it reduces to bring out a really great richness. The chorizo gives the dish a kick of heat and will leave you feeling full.

Serves four
150g chorizo, sliced in thick discs
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
Sea salt and ground black pepper to season
400g tin cannellini beans
250g penne pasta
Parmesan cheese, to serve

Heat a large frying pan over a high heat and throw in the sliced chorizo. Fry on both sides until roaring red and sizzling. Remove from the pan and set aside. You should be left with a rich red oil in the pan.
Place the pan back over the heat, add the garlic and onions and fry for two to three minutes until the onions are soft.
Add the chopped tomatoes and dried oregano, then half fill the empty chopped tomatoes tin with warm water and stir into the pan (if you have red wine it would be great here instead of the water). Bring the sauce to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until it has reduced a little.
While the sauce is reducing, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet, drain and set aside.
Stir the chorizo and cannellini beans into the tomato sauce until everything is warmed through.
Add the sauce to the cooked pasta and stir through.
Serve with a good grating of Parmesan cheese.