What’s a Fake-Away?
No it’s not pretend food or meals where you tell the family they’re eating one thing but you’re really serving them something else. (Remind me to tell you the four-legged chicken and decoy cake stories one day).
Fake-Away meals are the meals you make in less than ten minutes after a really draining day or when something really unexpected disrupts the menu plan instead of dropping in to the local takeaway. They’re our version of “convenience” food or “fast- food”. Instead of picking up take-out through the drive through (not that there’s one here anyway), one of us will run into the local supermarket and grab some stuff (if we don’t happen to already have the required ingredients already in the pantry).
Fake- Aways are fairly healthy, low cost, low waste and filling meals. They’re great for holidays when you have access to a kitchen but would rather spend your time exploring rather than cooking (I took the makings of this particular fake-away on our trip last weekend). They’re also great for those CCB (“can’t be bothered”) nights or summer evenings when you don’t want to spend an hour over a hot stove heating up the house.
To Qualify as a Fake-Away for us they have to:
1. use things that can be easily brought plastic free (once you know which brands to buy) from most supermarkets.
2. be prepared in less than 10 minutes
3. be something every family member will happily devour
4. not require any “weird” or “one-off” ingredients
Chorizo & Tomato Pasta Fake-Away
1 jar/bottle of passata (any brand will do, but we go with the ones that have no added sugar, organic if available and are just tomatoes with a little salt and citric acid. You could also use a couple of cans of tomato puree but I find the ones available here are made mainly from tomato paste/concentrate,not whole tomatoes so they tend to be a bit overpowering plus most cans are plastic lined these days and we try to avoid plastic if wherever we can).
1 box pasta (if I haven’t already got some dried homemade pasta in the pantry I buy the “Barilla” brand because it’s the only reasonably low priced brand I’ve found that comes in a box instead of plastic for anything other than lasagna sheets, although recently they added a little cellophane window to some of the the boxes).
2- 3 Chorizo Sausages (from the deli, not the plastic wrapped ones or you can use any other kind of sausage or meat you like, leftover roast chicken is good).
A pinch of salt.
A Sprinkle of Herbs to taste.
Pop your pasta in a pot of boiling water and while it cooks chop your chorizo into bite sized pieces and brown lightly in a hot pan. Add the passata, salt and herbs to taste (we like oregano, basil or rosemary).
As soon as your pasta is aldente (cooked but still a tiny bit chewy), drain it and stir through the Chorizo & Passata sauce. Serve in bowls with a little grated cheese & a chunk of bread.
It takes about 8 minutes for the pasta to cook and you can have the chorizo and passata sauce done easily in that time, so this Fake-Away really does take less than 10 minutes.
Variations: I’ve already mentioned that you really could use just about any meat you like. You might like to add an onion or a few sliced chilli’s to the sauce. You can also throw in some grated vegetables, or leave out the meat completely and make it with mushrooms or eggplant. Serve with homemade garlic bread (mince a clove or two of garlic, stir it through some butter and spread on thick slices of bread. Pop them in the oven for a few minutes or even under the grill and they’re done).