This Penne Arrabiata includes melty mozzarella and spicy chorizo for a delicious twist on the classic.
Don’t you just love a good pasta dish?
Good ol’ spag bol certainly has it’s uses as one of those easy dishes that everyone loves (in fact, spag bol is still one of my favourites that I make at least every couple of weeks), but sometimes it’s nice just to shake things up a little.
Now this dish has everything going for it when you need to get something on the table quick, but you fancy something a bit different and special:
- Penne pasta smothered in a rich and spicy arrabiata sauce
- Gooey pieces of melty mozzarella
- Chunks of spicy chorizo
- Bell pepper slices, broiled until smoky and charred
It’s also just as quick to make as spag bol, which makes it a great choice for a mid-week meal.
I made this on Friday, and everyone – even my five-year old – had second helpings.
Gracey had been out to a social club that she goes to on a Friday, and despite the fact she’d already had tea, she saw a bit of this left in the pan when she came home and gave me the puppy dog eyes until she got a bowl of it too.
Now, you can make this meal as spicy as you like. I only add a pinch of chilli flakes when the kids are eating it too. If i’m doing this, I sometimes serve with a little dish of chopped fresh chillies for Chris and I.
Gotta love those chopped fresh chillies. We seem to be going through about 8 a week at the moment. I think I ate too many of them a few weeks ago – trying to burn out a bad cold I had – and now my taste buds have evolved –>broken.
I’m a little sad thinking of all those chillies I’m buying actually. Usually I grow chillies during the summer, and I have a conservatory and a little green house full of them. But for some reason I just didn’t get round to planting the seeds back in March. I normally hover over those seeds and the little seedlings like a chilli momma (sorry, I know I’m a nerd) and I’m so happy and proud when we eat our first home-grown chilli of the season. The thought of no chilli jam at the end of summer is actually making me more depressed.
Would it be cheating if I went out and bought a few chilli plants?
Cheating or not, I’m gonna do it.
I’ve got too many spicy dishes to make for the blog in my to-do list. It’d be a wrong not to!
I’ll plant them alongside Gracey’s jelly bean ‘seeds’.
Yes, she’s hoping to grow a jelly bean tree.
I love it when kids come up with these things. I mean, how awesome would it be if by some work of magic, the first ever jelly bean tree grew in my garden?
I’d be out there planting marshmallows, dairy milks, toblerones and jars of nutella before you could say better-than-willy-wonkas-edible-garden……
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 400g (5.25 cups) dried penne pasta (use gluten free if required)
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1 white or brown onion, peeled and chopped
- 200g (7oz) chorizo, sliced (usually gluten free, but check if required)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 x 400g (14oz) cans chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried thyme – or 3 stalks of fresh thyme
- 1 heaped tsp of dried chilli flakes (you can add more or less depending on how much you like chillies)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 ball mozzarella (approx 250g/9oz)
- 3 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
- Place the two whole bells peppers under the grill/broiler and grill until blackened and charred all over. Turn during grilling to ensure all the sides get done. They should be blackened in about 10-12 minutes. Once done, wrap in tin foil and allow to cool slightly in the foil (this will make removing the skin easier).
- Whilst the peppers are grilling you can cook the pasta and make the arrabiata sauce.
- Heat a large pan of water for the pasta, and cook the penne as per the pack instructions.
- In a large frying pan/skillet, heat the oil and add in the onion. Cook on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes until the onions start to soften. Add in the chorizo, and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until the chorizo releases it's oils and start to darken. Now stir in the garlic and tomato puree, cook for 1 minute, then stir in the canned tomatoes, thyme, dried chilli flakes and sugar. Bring it to a gentle bubble and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
- By now, the foil-wrapped peppers should have cooled a little. Place them on a chopping board, then remove and discard the charred skin. Slice up the peppers (discarding the seeds) and throw the chopped peppers into the arrabiata sauce.
- Drain the pasta, once cooked, and pour the drained pasta into the arrabiata sauce. Stir together (I find it easier to use a spoon and a set of tongs for this) until the pasta is completely coated in the sauce. Stir in the mozzarella chunks, heat for a further minute and then turn off the heat.
- Sprinkle the arrabiata with a little parmesan, freshly ground black pepper and some chopped chives. Serve straight from the pan.