Barcelona Style Spaghetti Vongole

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Scroll down and you’ll see my review of my recent holiday to the beautiful city of Barcelona. One of my must-visit places is the Boqueria Market on Las Ramblas. This tourist hotspot remains a fantastic place to get fresh produce and is where I sourced my ingredients for the recipe below. I understand that clams are pretty hard to get your hands on but if you ever come across them buy them!! They are delicious and, as shellfish go, they are not the most expensive. They are also pretty easy to handle if you buy them clean.

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I can definitely attest to the simplicity of this recipe. I cooked it in the Airbnb flat I was renting. The kitchen was basic to say the least! This can be cooked entirely on a two hob stove using two pans. It is a bit nerve racking cooking something for the first time, especially when that something is alive when you start cooking it. Trust me if you follow this recipe it will work out fine!! This is the perfect holiday night-in recipe, especially if you are in Barcelona. The clams are easy to source as is the Cava, it is so so cheap and you can buy it anywhere. If you are not in Barcelona, as I imagine most of you aren’t, then a cheap wine will do the job, we were just feeling a little decadent.vongole2

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Homemade Pesto

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Herbs are a bit of a nightmare if you don’t grow them yourself. I can see that. I do try to use dried herbs as much as possible as they are cheaper but sometimes the real thing is just so much better. One herb I always seem to buy fresh is Basil, it just works so well as a pick-me-up for any italian style dishes. Unfortunately it also seems to last about one hour from opening the packet until the leaves are all brown and mushy.

Pesto2This is why, whenever I have a bit of basil left over, I make some home-made pesto. It can be the tiniest bit in the world but pesto goes pretty far and although making it yourself might seem a faff, it uses up any old basil that would have gone to waste and it almost preserves it so you can get its flavour in to future dishes. Also, although I love sacla as much as the next guy, homemade does taste so much better than the stuff you get from the supermarket.

Pesto3Sorry the measurements aren’t particularly specific for this one. This is because it is really down to personal preference. Here I have gone simple, only using basil and pine nuts but often I use walnuts too or I add a couple of handfuls of rocket if I have any left overs. Another great tip is to add some roasted courgette, this gives great flavour and makes for a silkier more voluptuous pasta sauce.

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Courgette and Pancetta Summer Pasta

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It is far too hot to cook at the moment. Even I have been finding it very hard to motivate myself. I have been seeking out really simple recipes that don’t require too long in the kitchen as weather like this should be enjoyed to its best extent, in a beer garden. Pasta is always the best simple dinner option, perfect for soaking up any inadvertent after-work drinks.

Courgette Carbonara

This dish is a sort of twist on a carbonara. It is a great lighter alternative, perfect for anyone working on a bikini body as I have avoided the cream element. A much more interesting alternative to pasta and pesto but still really quick to make and requires very few ingredients. Hope you enjoy it, I am off back outside to frolic in the sunshine!

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