Chorizo, cauliflower & cider with spelt penne, almonds & rocket recipe image

Print Chorizo, cauliflower & cider with spelt penne, almonds & rocket

Cider and chorizo may not seem a likely combination but the Spanish have a huge culture of cider (or sidra) drinking in the North and West. We make the crumbly cooking chorizo ourselves and the cider is made by Ashridge, a mile away from our farm in Devon. The simple apple salad is an echo of the main dish ingredient. The rocket can be served simply as a side but a chopped handful is worth folding through the pasta. It will wilt and add a slight bitter taste, as well as a good flash of colour. Your main concern should be trying not to scoff the salty, toasted almonds before you finish the dish, easier said than done.

Ingredients

  • 1 large or 2 small red onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 cauliflower
  • 40g flaked almonds
  • Olive oil
  • 50g rocket
  • 300g chorizo
  • Pinch saffron
  • 100ml Ashridge cider
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 200g spelt penne pasta
  • 1 apple
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Peel and finely slice the onion. Peel and chop 2 garlic cloves. Roughly chop the tomatoes. Remove the leaves and central stalk from the cauliflower. Cut the head into small 2cm, bite-sized florets.
  2. Put the frying pan on a medium heat and toast the almonds in the dry pan. Keep them moving and turning until lightly coloured, 2-3 minutes. Mix with a dash of oil and a good pinch of salt. Remove and keep to one side.
  3. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Wash and dry the rocket. Roughly chop 1 small handful of rocket and keep to one side. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the frying pan. Add the onion(s). Gently fry for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally and make sure they don’t catch.
  4. Add a dash of water if they look like they might.
  5. Meanwhile split the skins of the chorizo and remove the meat. Break each sausage into about 10 chunks. Turn up the heat under the frying pan. Add the chorizo and cauliflower. Fry for 4-5 minutes until starting to colour.
  6. Don’t worry if the pieces start to break up as you cook them. Put the pasta on to cook in the boiling water for about 12 minutes, or until tender. Meanwhile, add the garlic, tomatoes, bay leaf and saffron to the frying pan. Fry for a further 2 minutes before tipping in the cider.
  7. Bring up to gentle simmer and cook for 5 minutes. The cider should reduce and form a thick sauce. While the sauce cooks, wash the apple and divide into quarter’s. Cut out and discard the core. Chop the rest into dices, slices or thin matchsticks.
  8. Mix the apple with the unchopped rocket. Dress with a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Season with salt and pepper. Add 4 tablespoons of the pasta water to the sauce to loosen it. Drain the pasta. Check the seasoning of the sauce.
  9. Throw the pasta into the sauce with a glug of good olive oil and the chopped rocket. Divide the pasta between bowls and scatter over the flaked almonds. Serve the rocket and apple salad on the side.
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