With an unexpected snowstorm followed by days of unseasonably cold weather, I was looking for a hearty dish to make for dinner. Pasta with Peas, Chicken, and Pork Chops, a rich and meaty pasta dish from Claudia Roden's The Food of Spain seemed a good choice. But the recipe called for a special cooking vessel, a cazuela. Though a wide casserole dish was recommended as a substitute, I thought my flame-proof tagine would work so "Fideos en Cazuela" became "Fideos en Tajine"!
Apart from the fabulous food that's
been coming out of my kitchen, one of the things I'm enjoying most
cooking from my long forgotten cookbooks these last few months is
learning new cooking techniques. Cooking with Claudia Roden, I've already deep fried béchamel(!) for ham croquettes and stewed potatoes in olive oil to creamy perfection for a Spanish tortilla.
For this recipe, pasta was cooked like rice using the absorption
method which meant that every noodle absorbed the flavours of the cooking
And, wow, what flavours there were in that broth! At its base was a sofrito, a classic Spanish tomato sauce of slowly cooked onions, garlic, red pepper and tomatoes. The chicken, pork and sausages were supposed to be cooked in a separate pan but I used the tagine for this step so the browned bits left behind added another layer. Finally, when the pasta was partially done, a thickener called picada, a paste of toasted ground almonds, garlic, saffron and parsley was added with the cooked meat.
Rich and warming...loved it!
I'm linking this post to Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.