So I’ve developed a love affair with courgettes and I feel okay about it.
I know a lot of people get real freaked out by courgettes – maybe it’s a textural thing – but when they’re laced in smoky, slick chorizo juices and rung through long, generous strands of linguine, it’s a party.
Some sort of black magic happens when you fry courgette in chorizo oils – it gets real tender, meaty and sucks in all of the smoky, paprika tinged oils. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever had.
And when the natural sauce is THAT good, you need nothing else but a fork and some good TV.
I get squiffy with texture, and I know that people get a bit squeamish with courgette, thinking that it’s a bit flabby when cooked but too crunchy when raw. So when you fry it in the oils of some chorizo chunks, it begins to soften but somehow retains a bit of edge. Keeping it served alongside the chorizo in with the pasta makes sure you still get a meaty chew, balancing all the textures as you eat.
I don’t even bother with herbs here. I literally throw in a big, sexy handful of designer salad leaves. They wilt down and go all sexy and glossy amongst the pasta in big splodges, giving you refreshing twists throughout the dish.
I make this in a big bulk. I always have chorizo just chilling in the fridge (it’s so damn handy) and I make a big, fat plateful and plonk it on the table, smug knowing that any leftovers are absolutely banging heated up the next day.
And also squadged between two pieces of bread, because I have carbohydrate dependency issues.
First bring a big ass pan of water to the boil.
In your widest frying pan, heat a little oil and toss in a hook of chorizo, roughly chopped.
Add a big pinch of smoked salt. Okay… this is easy to get, Maldon salt do a box in any old Asda’s or Morrison’s BUT I highly recommend Halen Mon’s Oak Smoked Salt for this. It literally has this charcoal edge that gives your food a subtle yet deep BBQ glisten. Get into it.
Once the chorizos starts releasing their oils and getting all sizzly, throw in a whole courgette which has been halved and sliced into little half moons.
Fry these for a bit and once the courgette begins to soften and take on the glossy, orange oils of chorizo, add a fistful of linguine to the pan of water with a generous douse of salt.
You could totally use any pasta you’ve got to hand by the way. I just love big sloppy lengths of pasta.
The pasta should take 7/8 minutes, in which time just keep stirring and prodding about your courgette and chorizo.
Once the pasta cooking time is up, take a small, tiny cup of the pasta cooking water and splash it into the frying pan. Drain the pasta and then throw it immediately back in the empty pan.
Now scrape the courgette/chorizo into the pan of pasta and put back on the heat, tossing the pasta in the oils. Grab a big handful of designer leaves (mine consisted of watercress and rocket) and drop into the pan, tossing all together.
Serve with a big, smoky pinch of paprika.