It is said that invention can only be made possible by desperation. It’s something like this.
In my case, a months-long drought of Spanish chorizo at the grocery store took me down a path of recipe tinkering that resulted in a vegan pasta dish that — dare I say it — makes me feel downright smug.
The idea was born about a decade back, when I had the chance to discover it. A great recipe for 2007 is spaghetti with almonds and chorizo.Epicurious. Spanish chorizo’s beguiling subtlety shines when paired with such like-minded co-stars as garlic, dry white wine and floral saffron — then tossed with pasta and the welcomed heft of creamy chickpeas and toasted almonds.
The resulting dish is gorgeous and balanced — tinted orange from the rendered chorizo and saffron-tinged stock. I made it a part of my daily cooking routine. I loved it until I couldn’t find Spanish Chorizo at my local grocery.
Reported: Hatch green chilies pasta: Making New Mexico home with my pasta
Mexican chorizo was too spicy for me to use as a substitute. I also couldn’t find a good dry-cured alternative. Instead, I leaned on the dish’s other deliciously subtle components, many of which are vegan. I subbed in vegetable stock for chicken broth — mainly because it’s my preferred boxed stock where flavor is concerned. Lemon juice was used to substitute for the wine. I have plenty. The lemon flavor and brightness it gives vintagey saffron I have come to love, has been my favorite.
It is delicately simple, but the dish tastes amazing. (See? (See? I don’t know exactly when the vegan version was officially replaced in my monthly rotation. It is obvious that I am self-righteous beyond time.
Recipe: Chickpea and Safron Ravioli
Salt as needed
1 box spaghetti
If you need olive oil
Six fat garlic cloves, finely chopped
Rinsed chickpeas from a can of 14-ounces.
½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus a handful more for garnish
It is possible to crush red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
Juice of one juicy lemon (or 1 ½ if your lemon is stingy)
⅓ cup low-sodium vegetable stock
½ cup slivered or sliced almonds, dry toasted in a skillet (save a tiny handful for garnish, please)
One handful of chopped fresh chive leaf, optionally.
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