Puglia, Italy

Every year, I love sharing a collection of my favourite snapshots from our family summer holiday and this year we headed to Puglia in Italy. This region in the south, usually referred to as the heel of Italy, is a popular destination for Italian holidaymakers but less known to the rest of the world. We only had two weeks to explore Puglia and because it’s a really big region I definitely would’ve liked more time to see everything. I would love to return to Puglia in the future because I had such a brilliant time on my recent trip.

Adriatic sea views in Polignano a Mare

As we do every time we go abroad we stayed in our own private accommodation. It’s worth it for total relaxation and a chance to completely switch off, I prefer it to staying in a hotel because I love the freedom of being able to buy local ingredients and being able to cook, it’s not only my profession, but also one of my main passions in life.

Instead of staying in a villa, this year we were extra adventurous and rented a traditional Puglian trullo in the middle of countryside for our fortnight stay. If you were wondering, trulli are whitewashed stone huts with conical roofs, something this region of Italy is famous for and one of the many reasons tourists want to come and visit Puglia.

Alberobello has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site because of the vast quantity of trulli. We all adored Alberobello, it really is one of the most magical places I’ve ever been to especially when it’s all lit up at nighttime. There are several trulli, some converted into enoteche (wine bars/shops), restaurants, gelaterias and shops selling local produce and souvenirs.

Trulli houses in Alberobello

Whenever I’m visiting a different country I love to embrace and delve into that country’s culture. Every region in Italy has its own cuisine, so it was fun to discover a few foods I hadn’t yet tasted before. The reason I keep coming back to Italy is because of the outstanding cuisine, I cook Italian food like homemade pasta and sauce, gnocchi and risotto on a regular basis so I always feel totally at home whenever I’m in Italy.

Taralli pizzaiola – authentic Puglian olive oil breadsticks flavoured with tomato, paprika and oregano

Our holiday rep, Donatello, provided an amazing welcome pack with an array of goodies including prosciutto crudo (Italian dry-cured ham), sweet and juicy cherry tomatoes, rustic crusty bread (perfect for dipping into olive oil), fresh fruit, coffee, biscuits (paste e latte/Italian milk biscuits – pictured below), Puglian rosé and best of all, fresh buffalo mozzarella which we ate on the day it was made. If you love mozzarella, then you’re in for a treat in Puglia because burrata (mozzarella with a delicious creamy interior) originates from this region.

There really is nothing quite like Italian hospitality, if you’re a foodie then there’s no better travel destination than Italy. Italians are passionate about their food and they want you to enjoy and experience the very best of their cuisine and produce. The fresh fruit and vegetables taste so good because they haven’t travelled far and have usually been grown locally, which makes a huge difference.

Puglian olive oil is recognised for its exceptional flavour, taste and quality. Puglia was one of the first places in Europe to produce totally organic olive oil. Fantastic olive oil means this region also harvests amazing olives and no apéritif is complete without a bowl of olives and taralli, which are crunchy ring-shaped breadsticks and available in various flavours. It’s safe to say I got addicted to these delicious snacks during my holiday. Every time we ventured to the supermarket to stock up on groceries, I picked up another pack and I even took several packets of these home, and I’m going to attempt baking some of my own homemade taralli.

Taralli caserecci are plain olive oil breadsticks – an enjoyable evening snack with marinated olives and a glass of wine

If you love seafood, then Puglia is the place for you because it has miles of coastline along the Adriatic sea. Our favourite pasta dish combines gamberi (prawns/shrimp) with garlic, lemon and fresh chilli/peperoncino. All you need to do is add a little butter and a drizzle of olive oil and serve that with cooked linguine or spaghetti. Simple flavours, but amazingly tasty.

Most regions in Italy have their own pasta and in Puglia, Orecchiette is the signature pasta of the area – it’s the ear-shaped pasta slightly heavier in texture. If you visit the old town in Bari you might see people perched on stalls sitting outside in the streets rolling and shaping this pasta.

focaccia al pomodoro

Focaccia Barese – focaccia al pomodoro / tomato focaccia

Focaccia Barese is a traditional focaccia from this region. I didn’t know this before, but foccacia dough in Bari is made with mashed potato and semolina. Every single piece of focaccia I tasted during my trip was exquisite. Perfectly chewy and crisp around the edges and the tomato topping was gorgeously sweet and lightly flavoured with herbs. If you’re tempted by this, try my recipe for Tomato Parmesan Focaccia!

There were a few foods I didn’t get to try during my trip, but would’ve loved to. Since getting back from Puglia, I was reminded of a traditional Puglian pastry, Pasticciotto, which is a pastry filled with custard. I cannot believe I didn’t get an opportunity to try these as they sound and look like something I would really enjoy. However, I will definitely endeavour to try these on my next visit!

To end this foodie section, I thought I would talk about the incredible gelato. Anywhere you go in Italy you’re guaranteed to taste the best gelato. I particularly enjoyed the fresh and fruity flavours to cool down with during the daytime. During the evening I usually went for something richer like pistachio and nocciola (hazelnut) – this is one of my favourite combinations! The gelato pictured here is from Gelateria Gentile in Alberobello, I highly recommend this shop, the service was wonderful and there’s a fantastic selection of gelato.

The hardest part is deciding which flavour/s you’ll pick!

Strawberry and mango ice cream from Gelateria Gentile in Alberobello

Beach views at Polignano a Mare

Pictured above is Polignano a Mare, which is a town on the coast of Valle d’Itria. The crystal clear blue waters are very inviting and everyone is having fun jumping off the cliffs all day long. Along with Alberobello, this was possibly one of the most “touristy” areas we visited during our trip, but it was still a lovely place to explore and snap some brilliant pictures of the beach.

Flowers on a seaside balcony in Monopoli

Harbour in Monopoli

Monopoli is a highlight from our visit. It was nice to walk around the streets and also to sit back and enjoy a refreshing drink along the seafront in one of the many bars and restaurants.

The harbour is a nice area to stroll around and also the old town streets were perfect to get lost in.

Pretty flowers in Locorotondo

Countryside panoramic views from Locorotondo

Beautiful Bari

For me, Puglia is a region that has the perfect mix of everything, a beautiful coastline, picturesque countryside, lots of history and quaint towns to have a leisurely stroll through. Puglia might just be the your next travel destination if these are all the characteristics you look for in a holiday!

Rundown of my top places to visit during a trip to Puglia:

  • Alberobello – UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996 (the year I was born!), visit Alberobello and experience the famous and unique trulli houses. An absolute must see in Puglia! 
  • Locorotondo – This picturesque town is known for its wine production. The town itself is the main sight, so you might find it pleasant just taking a walk around the streets, capturing some photographs, looking in the shops or even relaxing in one of the cafés and restaurants. There’s also a few churches to look around too. Locorotondo certainly deserves its title ‘Borghi più belli d’Italia‘, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Also, as it’s situated on a hill, Locorotondo is a wonderful place to see the stunning panoramic views of the countryside.
  • Monopoli – One of the places we visited on more than a couple of occasions, we enjoyed wandering around the streets and sitting along the seafront. Sit back, relax whilst sipping on an Aperol spritz or a nice chilled glass of wine taking in the stunning sea views
  • Taranto – This is a commercial port and the main Italian naval base. We had just a quick visit here, but if you have more time you can take a look at Castello Aragonese, where parts of the castle date back to 900’s when the Byzantines rule this region of Italy. Also, the National Archaeological Museum of Taranto and Taranto Cathedral are both worth a look around.
  • Ostuni – I thought I would save one of my favourite places in Puglia until last. This is a lovely town to walk around the cobbled streets, known as the “White City” for its white washed walls and is more reminiscent of neighbouring Greece but still showcases pure Italian charm. We purchased a lot of pottery and locally made ceramics here. I have some new beautiful bowls, plates and a utensils jug for my kitchen. Buying ceramics during my travels is one of my favourite things to do as it’s always unique to the area you visit.

trulli in alberobello

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading!

jess

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Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Pasta

Creamy roasted red pepper tomato sauce served with fusilli pasta. A simple and flavourful pasta dish great for students or anyone on a budget! 

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I think my obsession with pasta is almost as big, maybe even bigger than my cheesecake obsession? 😉

How you can blame me? Pasta is such a versatile ingredient and the choices are endless. I could eat pasta every night of the week and not get bored. I kid you not, when we holidayed in Italy a couple of summers back we ate pasta nearly every single night.

I particularly love sharing these kinds of recipes because being a student I’m always on the lookout for easy and cheap meals that don’t lack flavour or require me to spend hours standing over a hot stove. Sometimes all I want is a dinner that’s both comforting and good for me. And yes, it is possible!

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I’ve been planning to make this sauce for a long time now. I’ve based the recipe on my marinara and arrabbiata sauces, but I changed my classic tomato sauce by adding roasted red bell pepper and double cream. I really love roasted peppers, as the peppers roast they get sweeter and charr and the charring adds incredible intense flavour to the sauce.

To prepare the sauce, I roasted 3 large red bell peppers with a red onion, a few cloves of garlic, olive oil, dried thyme, oregano, chilli flakes for 30 minutes until all the vegetables were soft and the peppers were starting to caramelise and charr slightly. Once the vegetables were roasted I added them to a saucepan along with a can of chopped tomatoes and a pinch of sugar to add extra sweetness to the tomatoes. Then I left the sauce to gently simmer for about 15-20 minutes then I took it off of the heat and blitzed it until it was smooth. Finally I added double cream which brings a delicious creaminess and richness to the sauce.

The final step is to put a pot of salted water onto boil and cook your pasta to packet instructions. I went for fusilli (we have a 3kg bag in the store-cupboard waiting to be cooked with < can you tell we’re a family of pasta lovers?), but really this sauce suits all kinds of pasta shapes, linguine, spaghetti or even penne, so use whatever you have in.

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

3 large red bell peppers

1 red or white onion

3 large cloves of garlic

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and black pepper, to taste

400g (14 ounce) can chopped tomatoes

Generous pinch of sugar

4 tablespoons double cream

To serve:

400-500g dried fusilli or any other pasta shape

Freshly grated Parmesan

Fresh chopped basil or parsley

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160 Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Slice the red pepper and onion up into medium sized chunks and half each garlic clove. Evenly spread the vegetables out onto a large baking tray. Scatter over the herbs (dried thyme, oregano and chilli flakes) and drizzle over the olive oil. Season well with salt and black pepper and roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  2. Once the vegetables are roasted place them in a large saucepan along with the can of chopped tomatoes and a generous pinch of sugar. Stir and then bring the sauce up to the boil. Once boiling simmer the sauce for 15-20 minutes. Blitz the sauce in a food processor or with a hand blender until smooth and no chunks remain. Stir through the cream and add any extra seasoning if needed.
  3. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Once the pasta is cooked drain it and add it and stir through the sauce. Serve immediately with grated Parmesan, crumbled goats cheese or feta cheese. Garnish with chopped basil or parsley if you desire.

Recipe Notes:

  • Omit the double cream for almond milk and leave the Parmesan out to make this dish suitable for vegans. Omit the Parmesan for a vegetarian substitute to make this dish suitable for vegetarians.

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Enjoy!

jess

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Penne all’Arrabbiata

Penne in fiery, spicy tomato sauce. A delicious meatless Monday meal! 

If I’m not baking cake or making cookies and cheesecakes I love cooking delicious savoury recipes, especially pasta dishes. I have a few favourite pasta recipes already shared on this blog and I am always adding to that collection.

Penne all’Arrabbiata is a classic Roman pasta dish that’s popular in Italy, around the world and my kitchen for a reason. It’s rich, comforting and the perfect food to enjoy after a busy day when you can’t be fussed to cook anything too fancy or extravagant for dinner.

“Arrabbiata” is the Italian word for angry which describes the sauces’ fiery and hot flavour. If you’re not a fan of chilli don’t worry as this arrabbiata sauce has just the right amount of spiciness without being over the top. I only added one red chilli which I deseeded but you can adjust the spiciness to your own taste by adding more or less.

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It’s traditional to serve arrabbiata sauce with penne because the ridges cling onto the sauce. Saying that any pasta shape will work. Sometimes I use spaghetti or fusilli but it really depends on what I have in.

I always cook tomato sauces for at least one and a half hours as I find this allows the flavours to really develop. You can serve the pasta immediately with a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan or you can spread it out into a skillet or a baking dish and then top with melting cheese like dried mozzarella, Parmesan or even cheddar and bake it al forno style.

I personally can’t eat pasta without lots of Parmesan. During my recent trip to Bologna I visited the Parmigiano Reggiano Dairies and I was treated to a Parmesan tasting. It was an amazing experience tasting all the different ages and seeing how Parmesan is produced.

Penne all’Arrabbiata is a great meal to have on standby ready for busy weeknights or for a lazy weekend dinner. You can make this sauce up to a week in advance and it can be stored in your fridge. When you’re ready to serve pop the sauce back into a saucepan and heat it whilst the pasta is cooking.

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

Arrabbiata Sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil – I don’t recommend using extra virgin olive oil

1 red or white onion, finely diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 – 1 large red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon tomato purée

400g can chopped tomatoes or tomato passata

200ml water (I used the can to measure this)

1-2 teaspoons sugar

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Fresh basil or parsley, to serve

500g dried penne or any other pasta of your choice – I recommend penne rigate

Method:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan on a medium heat. Sauté the diced onion, garlic and chilli until soft for about 4-5 minutes. Add the oregano and continue to cook for another minute or two. Season generously with salt and black pepper.
  2. Add the tomato purée and cook for another minute. Add the canned tomatoes/passata, water and the sugar and bring the sauce up to the boil. Once boiling, turn down to a low heat and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally. It should be thick and glossy by the end of the cooking time.
  3. Before serving, place a large pot of water onto boil – season the water well with salt. Cook the pasta until al dente (a few minutes less than the packet instructions). Drain the pasta and mix together with the sauce. Add extra seasoning if it needs and serve with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan.

Enjoy!

jess

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Bologna and Beyond

Hey everyone! I’m finally back with another blog post! I was lucky enough to spend a few days in Italy during the week. I’ve put together a post all about my trip to Bologna, which covers various fun adventures along the way, including a visit to beautiful Venice. It was nice to take a break and indulge in copious amounts of gelato and pizza! I hope you enjoy looking through some of my favourite snapshots from the holiday!

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One of my favourite pictures from Venice. When we first turned up the weather was looking a little dismal, but it soon improved and the sun came out. Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to go on a gondola, but I still enjoyed spending my time shopping for souvenirs to remember my trip. I felt I saw just as much walking around and discovering the sights on foot and also I worked off the pizza I’d devoured at lunch. 😉

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My first ice cream of the trip! We’d just arrived in Bologna and started a walking tour of the city. After a slice of pizza, we headed straight for gelato. The flavour I went for was Gianduia – which is chocolate ice cream with hazelnut paste and chunks of hazelnut in each scoop. And as you can probably guess, it was pretty delicious!

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Proscuitto e funghi pizza is what my friends and I bought from a takeaway and then wandered up to a nearby park to eat it. Whenever I travel anywhere, whether it’s with my family or friends I love walking off the beaten track away from the tourist hotspots, if you do this you are more likely to discover new and exciting hidden attractions. The park was lovely and happened to be one of Bologna’s oldest parks.

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Parco della Montagnola – one of the oldest parks in Bologna

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On the second day of our trip we went on a factory tour to the Parmigiano Reggiano Dairies. It was interesting to see how Parmesan is made and also taste the different ages. This picture shows a miniscule amount of the Parmesan during its ageing process. If you love cheese, then if you’re ever near the region, I would highly recommend a visit!

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Later that day after visiting the Parmesan factory we drove to Modena to visit a balsamic factory. Part of the tour was a tasting of different aged balsamic vinegars. I think I managed about one small spoonful of vinegar before having to decline the next. Normally I would mix the balsamic vinegar with extra virgin olive oil so tasting it neat was quite an experience! I purchased a bottle of an 8-year-old balsamotto from Acetaia Paltrinieri. I’m looking forward to trying the balsamic with oil and some of my mum’s homemade Italian bread.

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Our final visit later that day was to a prosciutto factory in Parma. It was brilliant to see the prosciutto being prepared for curing and also then getting the chance to taste test the meat. I’m a big fan of prosciutto crudo and I love serving it on antipasto platters with cheese and olives. It makes a tasty starter before a meal.

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Pumpkin tortelloni pictured above and fresh strawberries at the Mercato delle Erba in Bologna. The market was great to have a browse around and there was lots of fresh produce available. I cannot wait for the summer here in England so I can enjoy strawberries when they’re finally back in season!

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The gelato is just one reason why I love Italy so much. There are gelaterias on most streets in Bologna, I would recommend the gelato from Gelateria Caffetteria Saverio, which was the place we headed for our gelato. We had brilliant service and the staff were very welcoming and friendly towards us. We enjoyed the ice cream, so much so, we ventured back on our last evening and then the next morning before our flight just to eat even more gelato from this place!

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If you’re interested in visiting Bologna you can visit the official website here to find out more.

I hope you enjoyed reading!

jess

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Rosemary Sea Salt Focaccia

Traditional Italian focaccia. Fluffy olive oil bread topped with fragrant rosemary and sea salt.

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There really is nothing better than homemade bread. Freshly baked, it always tastes amazing. Focaccia is one of the bread recipes I make most often – baking it every week, usually at the weekends when I have more time. Sliced up it makes a brilliant light lunch or appetiser served as part of an antipasto. I’ve already shared a few focaccia recipes on the blog, but this time I wanted to share a basic rosemary focaccia. I love the simplicity of this bread, and of course the beautiful aromatic flavour.

I made this focaccia for a recipe test run a few weekends back. To say the least, it went down a treat and got devoured as quick as anything. With just four people in our household, it vanished pretty quickly soon after baking – which is definitely a great sign! Hands down this is my favourite focaccia recipe!

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I kept the flavours very simple. Rosemary and sea salt is a classic focaccia topping and one of our favourites. We use homegrown rosemary, mum took a cutting from our villa a few years ago in Tuscany, we planted when we got home and ever since it has flourished, and produces enough rosemary for our culinary needs each year!

This focaccia starts with an olive oil bread dough. I use extra virgin olive oil which adds real depth of flavour, gives the bread that authentic taste and keeps it soft and fluffy. You can prepare the dough by hand (the traditional way) or use an electric mixer like I do. Both ways will work just as well, producing a fluffy and crisp focaccia.

You can top the focaccia with anything you like. Bake it until golden and then tear and dip into some good olive oil.

 Ingredients:

500g strong white bread flour

7g (1 packet) fast action dried yeast

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon sugar

50ml (3 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

300ml (1/2 pint) warm water – make sure it isn’t boiling

Toppings:

1 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)

A few sprigs fresh rosemary

Course sea salt, for sprinkling

Method:

  1. In a large mixing bowl add the flour. Add the yeast to one side and the salt to the other. Add the sugar and then mix to combine.
  2. Mix together the water and oil and then add the flour. Using a wooden spoon mix together until a soft and sticky dough comes together. Then lightly flour a work surface and knead the dough by hand until smooth and elastic for 10 minutes. You can also knead the dough in an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment for 5 minutes.
  3. Once kneaded, lightly oil a bowl and add the dough. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size – this will take around an hour.
  4. When doubled in size lightly grease a baking tin (approx. 22cm x 32cm) with olive oil (1-2 tbsp). Add the dough and press out into the tin until even – it doesn’t need to look perfect! Cover the tray and again leave in a warm place until doubled in size. (45-60 minutes approx.)
  5. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C Fan / 200 degrees. Press small holes into the dough with your fingertips. Poke the rosemary in the holes and scatter over the oregano and sea salt. Drizzle the focaccia with a little extra oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until risen and lightly coloured. Once the bread sounds hollow, remove from tin and cool on a wire rack. Slice up and enjoy anyway you like   Serve the focaccia dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It can be served both at room temperature and gently warmed in the oven. Both ways are delicious!

Note: The focaccia is best eaten on the day of making, but it will keep in a bread bag or airtight container for an extra day.

Enjoy!

jess

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Pesto alla Genovese (Fresh Basil Pesto)

A great basil pesto recipe! Learn how to make to this Italian classic in a few simple steps and with just a handful of ingredients.

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Today I’m sharing a really simple recipe for fresh basil pesto. It’ll take you literally minutes to make and tastes out of this world good! This homemade pesto is the best pesto I have made to date and it couldn’t be any easier or simpler to make!

The “secret” ingredient that makes my pesto taste so good is the roasted garlic. Roasted garlic is such an underrated ingredient, it transforms this pesto and adds a light and sweet flavour. Before I perfected my own pesto recipe, I’d always made pesto with raw garlic. It’s ok, but I find it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth afterwards, whereas the roasted garlic is sweeter and gives a more rounded flavour without leaving a bitter aftertaste. I found these instructions for roasting garlic here. It filled my kitchen with most gorgeous garlic aroma and I would highly recommend you give it a try!

With just a handful of ingredients this basil pesto is not only satisfying on the taste buds, but because it’s so easy and quick to prepare it is definitely worth going to the extra effort to make it yourself. Pesto will store in the fridge for up to a week, so it’s ready and waiting for you to use to make a tasty dinner. You can’t beat this pesto mixed through cooked pasta, it’s delicious.

Ingredients:

2 x 30g (60g in total) bags of fresh basil leaves

3 cloves roasted garlic

50g pine nuts, toasted

55g Parmesan or other vegetarian hard cheese, freshly grated

5-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

1. In a food processor pulse together the basil, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan until they are minced.

2. With the processor on slow speed add the oil (a tablespoon at a time) in a slow stream. Now season to taste with salt and black pepper. Process for another minute until all the ingredients are combined.

3. Place the pesto in a jar or bowl and drizzle over a little extra oil to cover the top – this keeps it fresh. Store in the fridge for up to one week.

Recipe Notes:

  • If you can cannot find pine nuts you can easily substitute with walnuts, almonds, cashews or pistachios. For a nut-free version you can substitute with sunflower seeds.
  • Adjust the consistency of your pesto by adding a tablespoon less or more oil.
  • When toasting the pine nuts always toast on a medium heat in a dry pan. Watch them as they burn very easily and will taste bitter.

There are endless ways of serving this fresh basil pesto recipe. In the summer and when it’s too hot to cook and I don’t feel like putting together anything too elaborate for lunch or dinner, then pasta salad is a lifesaver! I simply mixed together cooked orzo/risoni with this basil pesto, then I added halved cherry tomatoes and mozzarella pearls (bocconcini). Delicious Caprese pasta salad and this will last for a week in the fridge. You can use any pasta you like, sometimes I use fusilli, penne or even orecchiette.

Enjoy!

jess

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Linguine Gamberi

Linguine with prawns flavoured with chilli, lemon, garlic and parsley. One of the tastiest seafood pasta dishes you will try and it’s all ready in less than 15 minutes!

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I came up with this recipe when I was on holiday in Sardinia a couple of years ago, where the majority of our meals were based around the fresh seafood on offer and most nights we ate pasta. This dish is perfect to eat anytime of year – it’s a great al fresco meal for the summer, but also extremely flavourful and warming in the colder months too. I love this recipe because fresh flavours are brought together to create an amazing seafood dish that takes hardly any time to make and has to be one of the best dinners you could eat! Just eating this dish transports me back to the beautiful sunny Italian island!

Pasta dishes are definitely one of my specialities! Pasta is a very versatile ingredient, I have shared many different creations on the blog so far, including this spaghetti with marinara sauce and this delicious pesto linguine with halloumi cheese and roasted tomatoes.

This linguine gamberi is truly one of my go-to quick dinner recipes. It would definitely be my last meal on earth – I LOVE anything with garlic butter!

The recipe is based on one of my favourite pasta sauces, aglio e olio – which is simply a sauce made out of garlic oil, you can also add some pepperoncino (chilli flakes) if you like too! All you have to do to make this dish is cook some linguine or any other of your favourite pasta shapes, flavour the oil with garlic, red chilli and lemon, then gently cook the prawns. Add some butter – which adds the indulgence and helps keep the prawns tender and then toss together with the cooked drained pasta. It couldn’t be any simpler!

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I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love a bowl of this pasta for their dinner! Comfort food to the max. This is sure to impress anyone who tries it! Serve with a big glass of chilled white wine for the ultimate dinner, perfect for any night of the week! Enjoy the recipe guys!

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(Serves 4 portions)

Ingredients –

500g dried spaghetti

225g raw tiger prawns, cleaned and de-veined

75g butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 – 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1 unwaxed lemon, zest + juice of half

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Method –

1. Cook the linguine in salted boiling water according to the packets instructions.

2. Once the pasta is near enough cooked, add the olive oil to a large frying pan. Gently sauté chopped garlic, chilli and lemon zest until fragrant, then add the prawns and the lemon juice and continue cooking for about 3 minutes or until they start to turn pink in colour.

3. Once the prawns are cooked add the butter and cook on a medium heat to warm the prawns completely through and melt the butter. Toss the drained pasta and prawns together in the pan. I also like to sprinkle over a little freshly grated parmesan too. Serve in pasta bowls and enjoy!

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Original recipe posted October 2013

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More pasta recipes you may like:

Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce 

Pesto Linguine with Halloumi & Roasted Tomatoes 

Spaghetti with Courgettes, Chilli, Lemon & Garlic 

Enjoy the recipe!

jess