Sometimes you just want something warm and comforting to eat. And, given how cold it’s been recently in old London town, Sunday night was one of those times. And what’s more warm and comforting than something involving sausage and beans. Fair enough, Nigella’s Chorizo and Chickpea Stew is a fancy sausage and beans, but it’s still broadly the same!
I did enjoy this recipe, but I would make some changes next time I make it. The flavours are classic and work brilliantly, but I did want to add a bit of spice so I added a small amount of Hot Chilli powder. I think I’d actually increase the heat even more – the chorizo is spicy, but there’s a lot of sauce and the addition of some chilli flakes might pep it up even further! The other thing I would do is switch out one of the tins of cherry tomatoes for a regular tin of chopped tomatoes. The sauce remained quite watery (despite me adding less water than the recipe prescribed), so I think I’d use chopped tomatoes to bulk this up a little. But I would definitely recommend keeping one of the tins as cherry tomatoes, as they keep their shape during the cooking and add a really nice texture and flavour to the stew.
Finally, it’s worth noting that for two of us, I halved the bulgur wheat it states in the recipe below and there was still loads left!
KB rating 7/10. PR rating 7/10.
Chorizo and Chickpea Stew (serves 4)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 50g spaghettini or vermicelli, torn into 3cm lengths
- 500g bulgur wheat
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp sea sat flakes (or 1 tsp regular salt)
- 1 litre water
- 2 bay leaves
- 350g chorizo, cut into coins then halved
- 4 tbsp amontillado sherry
- 100g dried apricots , snipped into pieces with scissors (optional – I hate them so didn’t include)
- 2 x 400g cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 x 400g cans cherry tomatoes, drained, plus 1.5 cans tap water
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Coriander (optional – I didn’t have any, so didn’t include)
Warm the olive oil in a thick-bottomed pan on a medium heat. Fry the pasta bits in the oil for a minute, stirring, until they look like slightly scorched straws, then add the bulgur wheat and stir for another minute or two.
Stir in the cinnamon and the salt, then pour the water into the pan. Add the bay leaves and bring to a boil, then turn down to the lowest heat, add a lid, and leave for 15 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.
Meanwhile, put another thick-bottomed saucepan on a medium heat, add the chorizo pieces and fry until they start to release orange oil. Then add the sherry and let it bubble away.
Add the apricots (if using) along with the chickpeas (or beans) and canned tomatoes. Half-fill each empty tomato can with water and swill it out into the pan. Put on a high heat to bubble for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with the bulgur wheat and, if there’s any to hand, some chopped coriander.