There are those who think that one tin of tomatoes is much like any other and that there's no need, therefore, to pay any more than the 31p or so that you'll get a can for in a supermarket's budget range. I am not one of those people. There's a difference between something being expensive and something being value for money. Nowhere is this more true than in the case of the humble tin of tomatoes. And especially so when you can get a tin of D.O.P. certified Pomodoro S. Marzano dell'Agro Sarnese-Nocerino beauties from Tesco for 50p a shot.
This is a simple but delicious dish, great just as it is with some flatbread. But it goes great with a couple of lamb chops.
I like the Al'Fez brand of harissa, which I see Waitrose are selling at the moment for £1.34.
A 400g tin of chickpeas will give you about 240g when drained. If you want to cook dried chickpeas, 100g will give you about the equivalent when cooked.
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 tin tomatoes (the best you can afford)
approx. 240g (cooked weight) chickpeas
2 tsps harissa paste (or to taste)
a goodly pinch of ground cinnamon
2 courgettes, quartered lengthways, then cut into 20mm wide chunks
3 plump garlic cloves, crushed
salt + black pepper
Heat a splash of olive oil in a frying pan and brown the onions. Meanwhile, tip the tomatoes and their juice into a pan and squish with your hands (or use a potato masher). Add the chickpeas, harissa and cinnamon. When they're ready, tip in the onions, give everything a stir and bring to a simmer.
Add another good splash of oil to the frying pan on a fairly high heat. Season the courgettes and fry them with the crushed garlic until nicely coloured. Add to the stew, stir, and continue to simmer for a few minutes. Check the stew for seasoning and serve in bowls.
SHORTLISTED FOR FOOD BLOG OF THE YEAR 2014