Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Semana Española: Garbanzos con Chorizo

Beans and pulses were a staple at my house while I was growing up. I remember my mom cooking Cargamanto beans in her pressure cooker at least three times a week. Every now and then she would make a pan of lentil soup and for Christmas, we sometimes ate moros y cristianos (a dish of black beans and rice). I still love beans. These days I am particularly fond of using kidney beans, Puy lentils and chickpeas. I use them in stews, soups and even salads. Not only do they add a rich, nutty taste to dishes, but they're also full of protein and fiber!
Today's Spanish dish is a treat if like me, you're especially fond of chickpeas. It's also real lifesaver if you find that it's almost time for dinner and you still haven't got a clue about what to make. The recipe calls for ingredients which are pretty much found in every pantry, with the exception of the chorizo perhaps. I'm all for fresh, but in a pinch, there's nothing quite as comforting as opening the door to my pantry and making a meal using things like canned tomatoes and beans!
The beauty of this recipe not only lies in its simplicity, but in its full, earthy flavors. It's amazing to spend just 20 minutes in the kitchen, feel like you haven't cooked and then sit down with a glass of red to enjoy this gorgeous meal. You can serve the dish over some rice, with bread or even with a healthy serving of spinach, like I did. Buen provecho!
Garbanzos con Chorizo
Serves 4

2 tbsps mild olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, halved, deseeded and thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
250g spicy chorizo sausage, sliced
an 800g can of chickpeas, rinsed
a 400g can of chopped tomatoes
sea salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste, although you probably won't need much
fresh, chopped parsley and extra virgin olive oil, to serve

Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan and gently sweat the onion and the bell pepper. Increase the heat just a little, add the garlic and the chorizo and cook for a further 8 minutes. The chorizo will begin to release its fragrant oils- yum! Add the chickpeas, stir well and follow with the tomatoes. Allow the dish to cook for 10 minutes in an uncovered pan, stirring every now and then. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. I find the chorizo has enough flavor, so I usually omit the use of salt. Perhaps a grinding of fresh pepper is all you'll want to add. Serve with a sprinkling of parsley and a drizzle of good, extra virgin olive oil.