This is a full-on feast thrown together to enormous effect, simply with ingredients that you can more or less keep on permanent standby. And, like so many of these recipes, it’s pretty well instant. After all, if you haven’t got time to shop, it’s hardly likely you’ll be able to spend many hours at the cooker.
2 tbsp regular olive oil
50g/2oz spaghettini or vermicelli, torn into 3cm/1in lengths
500g/1lb 2oz bulgur wheat
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp sea salt flakes or 1 tsp pouring salt
1 litre/1¾ pints water
2 bay leaves
350g/12oz chorizo, cut into coins and then halved
4 tbsp amontillado sherry
100g/3½ ready-to-eat dried apricots, snipped into pieces with scissors (optional)
2 x 400g/14oz cans chickpeas or mixed beans, drained and rinsed in a sieve
2 x 400g/14oz cans cherry tomatoes, drained, plus 1½ cans tap water
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
fresh coriander, to serve (optional)
Warm the olive oil in a thick-bottomed pan on a medium heat. Fry the pasta bits in the oil for a minute, stirring, until they look like slightly scorched straws, then add the bulgur wheat and stir for another minute or two.
Stir in the cinnamon and the salt, then pour the water into the pan. Add the bay leaves and bring to a boil, then turn down to the lowest heat, add a lid, and leave for 15 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.
Put another thick-bottomed saucepan on a medium heat, add the chorizo pieces and fry until the orange oil runs out of them. Then add the sherry and let it bubble away.
Add the apricots (if using) along with the chickpeas (or beans) and canned tomatoes. Half-fill each empty tomato can with water and swill it out into the pan. Put on a high heat to bubble for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with the bulgur wheat and, if there’s any to hand, some chopped coriander.
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