We've had a couple of days of really blustery gusts in Manchester this week, and poor Mr P has had to cycle to work in - not very nice at all. So I decided the best way to mitigate this would be by making him a nice bone-warming dinner to sort him out after his latest 14 hour day.
This dish has a little bit of everything you need in this situation - the pasta helps you to carb back up after a tough bike ride, the protein in the kidney beans helps to keep you full, the chilli peps you up when you're dog tired, and although the cooking process destroys the alcohol content of the vodka, it leaves behind a little bit of fiery 'je ne sais quoi' that leaves a satisfied smile on your face.
Plus, the whole meal can be easily prepared in under half an hour - bonus!
I'm entering this recipe into the monthly Pasta Please, run by Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes. This month the theme is chilli, and it's hosted by hosted by Shaheen at A2K.
Chilli and Vodka Pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red chilli (with seeds), chopped
1 tablespoon tomato puree
2 measures (50ml) vodka
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin kidney beans, drained
enough pasta to feed 2/3 people
1. Start to cook the pasta on the hob, whilst you prepare your sauce.
2. Gently fry the onion in your oil in a saucepan until it starts to soften. Then add the chilli, garlic and tomato puree, and cook for a minute or so more. Adding the tomato puree at this early stage helps to take away any bitterness and give a slightly sweeter flavour.
3. At this point, add the kidney beans, vodka and chopped tomatoes and stir well. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for a further 15-20 minutes or so until the sauce has thickened somewhat.
4. Meanwhile, when the pasta is cooked al dente, drain well. Serve either with the sauce on top, or stir the pasta into the sauce at the last minute for full coverage.