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Made up recipe, wondered what ppl might think. Comments? :)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I'm new to these forums, so kindly forgive me if i've got the wrong area for this.

 

Basically i have a recipe that has evolved over a number of years from a student food to something that i honestly can't get enough of ... one of those dishes that it's easy to make too much of, but you rarely have any left ;)  I like to call it Pasta e Pesto con Fuoco (pasta and pesto with fire ... Italians please forgive any mis-translation, my italian is non-existent).  I'm curious to see what people might think of it, be they professional chefs or just fellow enthusiastic cooks.  I want to make it clear that i only have culinary training insofar as what my mother taught me, so please be gentle if you don't like it.

 

It's somewhat of a fusion food, incorperating mexican ingredients into a variation on that most wonderfull of student foods: pesto pasta.  It came about as a result of me continually using up random odds and ends that typically abound in any shared student kitchen by just whacking them in pesto pasta.  There were a great many Frankenstein monsters created, but over 6 years at uni i have found a combination that makes it soooooooo moreish.  Anyway, the recipe:

 

[These amounts for a portion for 1]

Good handfull of pasta (dried; have made it with fresh home-made though and it tastes even better)

Generous spoonfull of green basil pesto (never tried making my own)

4 whole sundried tomatos (i get them in oil)

4-6 button mushrooms

~1.5 inches chorizo sausage (fine cut is definitely best for this)

1 clove garlic

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Cayenne pepper

Salt (i use garlic salt)

 

1.  Get the pasta boiling in some salted water.  I find that by the time you've done everything else the pasta is usually nicely al dente.

2.  Slice chorizo into ~5mm slices (remove skin first) then chop chorizo slices and mushrooms into quarters.  Chop the sundried tomatoes finely (i use a pizza cutter for this, i find it much easier than trying to chop a mushy oily mound with a knife).  Chop the garlic to your personal preference.

3.  Heat a little olive oil in a small frying pan.  Add the chorizo, mushrooms and sundried tomatoes, and fry on a medium-low heat for about 5 mins.  Add the garlic at some point depending on how finely it's chopped and how cooked you like it.

4.  Whilst this is frying, put the pesto into your serving bowl and add a good splash of balsamic vinegar (about a tablespoon-ish).  Add some cayenne pepper (about a teaspoon) and mix together.  Season to taste with salt and more cayenne if necessary (you want to slightly under-season as the chorizo will add a little saltiness and heat).

5.  By this point the chorizo should have darkened slightly and the mushrooms gone nicely soft.  If there is excessive oil in the pan (the chorizo and sundried tomatos may add a significant amount), drain some of this off, then empty the pan into the pesto mixture.  Mix well.

6.  The pasta should be about done by now, drain and add it to the pesto mixture.  Mix well, and EAT.  Grated parmesan on top is very tasty if you're feeling decadent.

 

If anyone does decide to try this, and i would highly recommend you do if you like the sound of it, it's important to get the balance between the cayenne, balsamic and pesto right.  I love it because the pesto provides a sort of mellow MSG-ee base, the balsamic sharpens it up and adds sweetness, and the heat from the cayenne cuts the sweetness and marries it to the chorizo.  The other ingredients add other bursts of flavour and texture.  However my palette is far from sophistocated, thats why i want your opinion :)

 

You can add all kinds of stuff to this, whatever you have lying around.  In the past i have tried it with ketchup, frankfurter (actually works very well), sweetcorn, prawns, carrot, various italian sausages, various types of chili, onion (i don't quite know why but onion REALLY doesn't work in this, i wouldnt recommend trying it) and many others, with varying degrees of success.  However i keep coming back to this recipe because nothing i have found so far improves the taste.

 

Anyway, please do try it, and please do leave comments.  Criticism and suggestions will be welcomed, but do try to keep it constructive :P

 

Best regards too all,

Andy

post #2 of 10

You might want to be more specific about what kind of chorizo.  Sometimes the fresh stuff in natural casings might be hard to slice properly.

post #3 of 10

I have some problems imagining traditional pesto and chorizo-mushrooms-dried tomatoes all mixed up, but... who knows, it may work. Of course you know that if you serve this pasta to a capo mafia you're a corpse in seconds..

Gebbe Got uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichen und schönen Tod. Joseph Roth.
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Gebbe Got uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichen und schönen Tod. Joseph Roth.
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post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Lol i appreciate the heads up ordo, but i have a feeling that if i ever run into any kind of Mafioso my cooking will be the least of my worries ...
All i can say for sure is that it certainly works for me :)

 

Kuan, i use whatever i can get at my local supermarket, at the moment its Argal Chorizo Pamplona (not that i know what that means), fine cut.  I don't think i've ever tried fresh chorizo, i bet it's exquisite :)

 

post #5 of 10

Lots of umami type ingredients.  I think it looks like it would have a cluttered taste with too much going on.

 

I lean towards picking two ingredients and letting them play off each other rather than mingling 6. Let them sing a fine duet rather than get lost in a chorus

 

 

Quote:

Generous spoonfull of green basil pesto (never tried making my own)

4 whole sundried tomatos (i get them in oil)

4-6 button mushrooms

~1.5 inches chorizo sausage (fine cut is definitely best for this)

1 clove garlic

Balsamic vinegar

 

 

These ingredients come from cuisines that seek harmony and unity in the final dish.  Yet your approach is that of India or Asia where many ingredients play, usually in contrast to each other. I don't see these ingredients playing contrast, just at attempt for each to sing louder than the other.

post #6 of 10

I can definitely see how the pesto and the chorizo would work well together.  In the south we eat spicy sausages with cole slaw, same idea.  Kudos for making bold choices and honing in on what you like.  You should try to make it into a risotto too. 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys, i certainly appreciate the input.

 

Phatch, i have lived in the UK all my life, so i tend towards the traditional british "stick it all in a pot and hope" metality.  I admit i havn't really given the dish so much in-depth thought as is evident in your comments, which i appreciate very much btw.  I can see the logic of your comments, and you clearly have a far more sophistocated palette than me, so i am loathe to argue.  What i would say though is that to my mind, the taste doesn't seem cluttered; i can pick out the flavour and texture of each "chunky" ingredient mouthful by mouthful, and this is a joy to me.  I suppose it belies a fundamental lack of culinary experience on my part, but to me each ingredient reinforces and enhances the overall flavour of the dish, rather than trying to overpower one another.  I do agree that it is a deeply umami flavour, but this is just my personal taste :)

 

Koukouvagia, thanks very much :)  I've recently started making risottos, and they just blow me away; trying a pesto con fuoco risotto hadn't occured to me but sounds like a cracking idea!  I have tried more classical sauces (i.e. roux based) with the pesto sauce mixture, and it seems to lend itself well to the more creamy consistency, so i think you might be onto something :)  I'll let you know how it goes when i get around to it.

post #8 of 10


Quote:

Good handfull of pasta (dried; have made it with fresh home-made though and it tastes even better)

Generous spoonfull of green basil pesto (never tried making my own)

4 whole sundried tomatos (i get them in oil)

4-6 button mushrooms

~1.5 inches chorizo sausage (fine cut is definitely best for this)

1 clove garlic

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Cayenne pepper

Salt (i use garlic salt)

 

 

 

Looks like two recipes mashed together.

 

Divide it into tomatoes and chorizo; or 

Pesto and Mushrooms.

 

You're doubling up on flavours and causing a competition.  

You will enjoy it more if you use better ingredients and limit them to just a few.

 

Use the fresh pasta and the best ingredients you can buy to make the dish superb, not just a bomb of intense flavours with pasta.

 

For example (this is what I'd serve):

 

Good handfull of pasta (dried; have made it with fresh home-made though and it tastes even better)

Generous spoonfull of green basil pesto (never tried making my own)

4 whole sundried tomatos (i get them in oil) Juiliened (cut into ribbons)

4-6 button mushrooms

~1.5 inches 4 ounces of fine grind dry cured chorizo sausage cut into half moons about 1/8" thick (fine cut is definitely best for this)

1 2 to 3 cloves finely minced garlic

Olive oil (the best extra virgin you can get)

Balsamic vinegar (take out a small mortgage for a good bottle but only use a few splashes)

Cayenne Aleppo pepper or coursely ground smoked hot paprika

Salt (i use garlic salt) use real garlic and real salt

 

Start the sausage cold with the tiniest bit of oil - continue and add the oil and balsamic at the end.

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #9 of 10

try making your own pesto, guarantee it will be better than almost any store bought pesto.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your suggestions guys.

 

MichaelGA, i'll give that a go next time i make some.  I probably won't go to all that trouble to get the really gourmet ingredients, im a born and bred supermarket shopper, and at 23 years old i think i may struggle to get a mortgage on a rented flat lol.  I have heard that really good balsamic must be tasted to be believed, and it is on my list of things to do before i die to try some, but i don't think i really have the palette to appreciate it fully at this point!  I'll certainly go for the good oil and fresh pasta though.

 

Vonshu, to be honest it's never really appealed to me to make my own.  I LOVE pesto and i have tried some my mum made once, and for some reason i didn't like it as much as the bought stuff.  Maybe that was just a rare exception to my mums sterling record though, i may give it a go at some point.
 

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