This week I'm using a familiar pasta made with a less familiar grain - Spelt Spaghetti
It does look a bit like milk chocolate straws but the colouring is all down to using Spelt flour. Spelt, if you've not used it before, is an ancient form of wheat. It's effect on the pasta is to give it a more nutty taste so it's the type of pasta that will easily stand up to bold flavours.
The sauce I've made is tomato based and includes red capsicums (bell peppers), goat chorizo and mussels.
Spelt Spaghetti with Mussels
1 red onion, sliced finely
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 chorizo, diced
2 red capsicums (bell peppers) sliced finely
green peas, fresh or frozen, depending on season
parsley, roughly chopped
Prepare the mussels:
Steam the mussels until they start to open, remove them straight away to stop them from over-cooking. Remove the mussels from the shells and set them aside - discard the empty shells.
Make the sauce:
Drizzle a little oil in a heavy based skillet and place over a medium heat. When heated, add in the chopped chorizo and quickly sauté until golden. Remove the chorizo from the pan but leave any of those lovely paprika flavoured oils that have been released in the pan.
Tip in the onion and chilli and lowering the heat, slowly cook this until the onions have softened. Add in the capsicums and stir - cook this for a few minutes before returning the chorizo to the pan and then pour in the pureed tomatoes.
Let this mix simmer to allow the flavours to develop, the vegetables soften and the sauce to reduce.
When the sauce is at the right consistency, you can now cook the spaghetti.
Add the fresh or frozen peas to the sauce and continue to simmer. Add in the prepared mussels in the last minute or two of cooking, you just want them heat them through.
Tip the drained, cooked pasta into the sauce along with a handful of fresh parsley and gently toss through.
Place the dressed pasta into bowls and top with a little more fresh parsley.