I’ve been up in Sydney in the last few days, soaking up the beautiful sunshine and enjoying the views and water as well as all the events that were happening over the weekend. There was so much going on my head was spinning…and of course, we had so much food that I could hardly walk (even though we had to walk a lot). Sydney is a beautiful place, the weather and the scenery makes people livelier and healthier, or at least that’s the effect it had on me.
I had this sudden thought that I want to move up there, something I’ve never considered on the many trips I’ve had to Sydney. I’m not sure what changed this time. I blame everything on the age, maybe ageing will change people’s perspectives of where they want to live just like it has changed my taste for food over the years?
Perhaps I wouldn’t like it as much if I moved there permanently? What you do you think Sydney-siders?
Either way, I have neglected the blog for the duration of my holiday, for that I’m sorry. I need to pick up the pace and schedule posts like Lorraine does at Not Quite Nigella. She’s my inspiration and I really admire the effort she puts into her blog.
Maybe being in Sydney will make me write more? Although I really doubt that.
I had the best marinara pasta when I was in Sydney. I never quite liked them at restaurants before since the seafood mixes used were often not fresh or there was not enough sauce, resulting in a slightly too fishy taste on the palate. This one (which I will blog about later) was so good I was quite impressed. I used to only like meaty pastas but after this experience, I think marinara and other seafood pastas have risen significantly on the pasta scale.
I made a pasta bake a little while before I left for Sydney using chorizos, although it was delicious, I must say, I preferred the marinara. But of course, I will still share it with you since I dislike wasting anything.
Note:I did something stupid when I was making the pasta. I’m not sure why I put in the jar of pasta sauce (in the background) because I never ended up using it. I had a bottle of opened red wine and that just seemed much tastier to me, feel free to use pasta sauce if you want to though but I have changed the recipe to reflect the fact that I used red wine instead of pasta sauce.
You can substitute regular sausages for the chorizo or using meatballs or mince also works fine.
Chorizo pasta bake
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 100g penne or other tube shaped pasta
• 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes (usually 400g)
• 2 sprigs of oregano or thyme
• 2 cloves of garlic
• half brown onion
• Dash of red wine (roughly 100ml)
• 1 chorizo, sliced into 0.5cm thickness
• 1 tbsp tomato puree
• 4 medium mushrooms
• Handful of grated cheddar (or other) cheese
• Salt and pepper
1. Pre-heat oven to 210C.
2. Heat oil on medium frying pan on medium high, and cook onions until fragrant but not browned.
3. Add in garlic and chorizo and cook a further 5 minutes until the chorizo slightly colours.
4. Add in oregano, can of tomatoes, red wine and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook for a further 20 minutes or until it’s the desired consistency. If too thick, you can add a little bit of water but remember to re-season to taste. If you find it too sour (like I often do) you can add in a bit of tomato sauce to taste, this will mellow out the sour taste.
5. Heat a medium saucepan with water and add a dash of salt to the water. Bring to the boil.
6. Cook pasta in the water until al dente, follow instructions on pasta packet for best cooking times.
7. Drain pasta well and then put into the frying pan and mix well in the prepared sauce.
8. Transfer to a bake tray and top with grated cheese.
9. Bake for roughly 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown. Serve hot.
Question time: What’s your favourite pasta dish? Do you prefer tomato based sauces or creamy? I always tend to order tomato based pastas just because I’m not terribly good at finishing creamy ones.
On a side note, the winner of the La Zuppa competition has been drawn and I have updated the original post about who the winner is. They will also be notified via email. Thanks to everyone who entered and hope I can have such a great giveaway again!