Chickpea & Chorizo Stew

, , , , , ,

This warming stew is the ideal mid-week winter dinner; quick to make, filling as anything and delightfully tasty. Rather than the classic English way of bulking out stews into a thick sauce with corn flour, chickpeas blended through the dish provide a nice natural way of giving the sauce depth and weight. Combined with spinach, red pepper and onion there’s plenty of veg to get some goodness while pasta shells give it a central focus and chilli, bay, and paprika add a kick of spice. Infused with rich oils from the chorizo, the delicious meat completes a stew that’s wonderfully satisfying to eat. Serve it with some crusty bread for the final touch of home comfort.

A dish full of Spanish heart and soul, combine it with one of legendary r&b singer D’Angelo’s greatest moments; the intensely funky, free rhythms of Spanish Joint. An experimental track taken from his second studio album Voodoo, a masterpiece of a follow up to his debut Brown Sugar that exploded him onto the map and was a big part in the legendary neo-soul collective Soulquarian’s rise to musical stardom. A second album that came after a five year struggle with writers block, it shows D’Angelo coming out the other side in fine style for another seminal release. It took a personal trainer to get him back into shape from the vices of stardom and a super-cast of musicians from Questlove and bassist Pino Pilladino to the great Charlie Hunter, who played bass and guitar at the same time in the Electric Lady Studio sessions, to bring it all together. But he recounts the birth of his first son as the defining moment of inspiration in it’s creation. They say nothing great comes easy and this album, and the inimitable Spanish Joint, proves the point.

INGREDIENTS

2 cans chickpeas, drained (or 4 cups cooked chickpeas)
2 roasted red peppers (peeled, seeded and chopped) or 2 jarred roasted red peppers (chopped)
1 pound cooked chorizo sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Spinach (2 cups)
Manchego cheese (1/2 cup - grated)
Pasta shells (2 cups)
Olive oil (2 tbsp
1 small onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
Paprika (1 tsp)
Crushed red chilli (1 tsp)
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper (to taste)

METHOD

1. Pour the oil into a soup pot and place over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring regularly, until the onion is softened.

2. Add the chilli, paprika, bay leaf, black pepper and 2 teaspoons salt. Stir well to coat the spices in the oil.

3. Add the chickpeas, red bell pepper and 4 cups water to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cook, partially covered for 20-25 minutes. Adjust the heat to medium-low if it starts to boil.

4. Meanwhile, cook the shell pasta according to packet instructions.

5. Scoop out half the soup and puree into a blender and blend to a thick, chunky texture. Add about 1/2 cup more water if you prefer a thinner consistency. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.

6. Stir the chorizo, pasta and spinach into the hot stew to wilt the greens. Serve in a bowl topped with the grated cheese.