Whipping up an easy dinner at home is a great way to enjoy Father's Day. Keeping things simple in the kitchen, and maybe even getting kids to help if they're interested, is a low-key way to celebrate. An easy Sunday-night pasta is one of my favourite ways to feed a crowd without too much stress.
I love peas in pasta. Frozen peas are an unsung hero of the kitchen, and they're especially great in spring with fresh mint and lemon. They're great blitzed into a dip, or served chunky on toast with some feta and herbs. They're great in pasta too, and I've been making a version of this dish for years - sometimes with more cream, and sometimes with the addition of parmesan of pecorino to the sauce.
Chorizo makes a great flavour base for this simple spaghetti. Frying the chorizo gently first releases the oils and aromas, and means that it's a less-saucy dish but with plenty of heat and taste. A punnet of cherry tomatoes act as a sauce of sorts; they blister and soften nicely.
Garnishing is almost the most important part of a pasta dish - I love a sprinkle of sea salt, some cracked black pepper, a drizzle of good-quality olive oil, parmesan, and fresh herbs. However and whomever you're celebrating this Sunday, I hope you have a good one with plenty of delicious food.
Chorizo and cherry tomato spaghetti
450g spaghetti, cooked until al dente in plenty of salted boiling water 1 tsp olive oil 200g chorizo 1 tsp butter 1 red onion, sliced 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced 2 cloves garlic, crushed 200g cherry tomatoes (cut in half if they're large) Sea salt and cracked black pepper Parmesan, to serve Basil leaves, lightly torn, to serve (optional)
Slice and cut the chorizo into small chunks. In a large frying pan with high sides, heat the oil and add the chorizo. Cook on a medium-high heat until the oil starts to release from the chorizo, and it starts to go crisp.
Add the butter and, as it melts, add the cherry tomatoes. They'll start to blister and cook, then add the chilli and garlic. Add the spaghetti and mix well to ensure the tomatoes and chorizo oil cover it well. Cook for a few minutes, season well, and serve with parmesan, and basil, if using.
Spring pea pasta with bacon
450g pasta of your choice, cooked in plenty of salted boiling water 1 Tbsp olive oil 4-5 pieces bacon (use streaky or eye) 1 Tbsp butter ½ red onion, finely chopped 1 cup peas 2 cloves garlic, crushed ½ cup chicken or vegetable stock ¼ cup cream 1 tsp lemon zest 1 cup baby spinach Small bunch fresh mint, finely chopped Small bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped Parmesan, to serve
Cook the pasta and set aside. In a large frying pan with high sides, heat the oil on a medium-high heat and add the bacon. Cook until they're just starting to go crisp, then remove from the pan and set aside. In the same frying pan, add the butter.
Add the red onion and gently fry for a few minutes. Add the peas, and as they heat up crush some of them with a fork. Add the crushed garlic, stock, cream, and lemon zest and increase the heat. Add the baby spinach and the cooked bacon.
Cook for a few minutes at a high heat, then add the cooked and drained pasta. Mix together well, then reduce the heat slightly. The sauce should have reduced and thickened. Add the herbs, season with salt and pepper and serve with parmesan, additional herbs and lemon zest.