Gluten-free Pasta with Chorizo, Basil & Red Wine Sauce...

Wine and pasta, is there anything better? I mean, that's the kind of food that is like a holiday on a plate, the mediterranean on the table and sunshine on a cold February evening in the UK. It's pure comfort food that can be as grown-up or as basic as you like. Easy ingredients, time spent in the kitchen cooking which doesn't turn into a marathon, food and wine that can be shared. I used to think (admittedly that was a long time ago) that making your own pasta would be time-consuming and complicated, but that really isn't the case. It's straight forward, relaxing and pretty easy. You don't need fancy or expensive ingredients and it does taste so much better than any pasta you can buy in a shop. Yes, it takes a little more time than whacking a packed of the dried stuff into a pot of boiling water (and we're all busy, so there's nothing wrong with that per se), but not so much that it can't be done during the week.

This is the kind of cooking I probably like the most: good, fresh ingredients, not too many competing flavours, meals cooked from scratch. Working with the ingredients and working with my hands to create a tasty dish. You know, the kind you would expect to get in a small restaurant in the French countryside, or Italy, or Spain... The kind of dish that makes forget that I live in London where can't just pop down to a market on a daily basis and that mentally transports me to a different place in a different climate (preferably a warmer one). Food does that for me (at least the right kind of food) and so does music, a good book and of course wine.

Yes, I'm very much a wine drinker and red is my colour of choice (though I do like a chilled rosé when the outdoor temperatures rise) to accompany most dinners or for a relaxed evening with the wood burner on. And of course I use wine for cooking. Good wine. I'm not completely sure, but I believe it was Raymond Blanc who once said he'd only use wine for cooking that he would actually drink. That makes sense to me: why would you want to ruin all the good ingredients and the work that goes into a dish by using some cheap plonk? Finding the right wine might not always be easy, but I've found that using small suppliers like Garmence Wine Studio with a limited offer is a good way to go. I don't need a choice of 100 different wines (I'm easily confused by too much choice), but a supplier I can trust to deliver a wine they have sourced and tasted themselves. Just as I like to shop from small, independent shops for clothing or interiors, the local butcher for meat and the fishmonger for fish, I like to shop from small suppliers for wine. Garmence also offer a fab pairing wheel for each wine which helps a lot when looking to combine wine and food and their Merlot as well as the Chianti both work really well with this pasta dish. 

Ingredients (serves 4):

For the pasta:

  • 150g gluten-free, brown bread flour (plus a little extra to dust your worktop)
  • 50g tapioca flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2tsp xantham gum
  • 1tbsp olive oil

For the sauce:

  • 300g chorizo, cubed
  • 200ml full-bodied red wine
  • 3 shallots
  • 3 good-sized garlic cloves
  • 3tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • good handful of fresh basil
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • pecorino cheese, grated

How it's done:

First make the pasta:

  • mix the flours and xantham gum and put into your mixer bowl
  • add the eggs and olive oil 
  • mix until the dough comes together
  • flour your worktop and place the dough onto it
  • now knead the dough for a few minutes until smooth
  • divide the dough into four pieces
  • roll out the first piece onto the flour-dusted worktop
  • dust your pasta machine with flour
  • once the piece is about 5mm thick, pass it through the plain part of your pasta machine on the largest setting twice
  • go down one setting and pass it through another two times
  • now move onto the tagliatelle setting and pass the dough through that one
  • once you've repeated these steps with all four pieces of dough, set the pasta aside until ready to cook

Now for the sauce (this is best made in a sauté pan):

  • peel, half and thinly slice the shallots
  • put the olive oil into the pan and add the shallots
  • gently fry the shallots over a medium heat 
  • once the shallots are translucent, add the cubed chorizo
  • turn the heat up a little and fry until slightly browned
  • now add the red wine, bring to a boil and then turn the heat back down to medium
  • simmer down to reduce the wine by half
  • put the garlic through a press and add to the sauce
  • now add the (tinned) chopped tomatoes
  • quarter the cherry tomatoes and add to the sauce
  • stir it all through, turn the heat to low, put a lid on and leave to simmer whilst cooking the pasta
  • bring a large pot of water to the boil
  • drop the pasta in, bring back to a boil and cook for 4 minutes
  • once done, drain the pasta through a colander
  • put the pasta into a bowl, add the sauce and stir through
  • rip the basil into pieces and stir into the pasta
  • grind some fresh pepper on top and grate the pecorino cheese on
  • serve with a glass of Merlot or Chianti

Disclaimer: I have been compensated for this post by Garmence Wine Studio, however, all images, recipe, writings and opinions are my own.