pasta con le fava fresche (pasta with broad beans)

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the ingredients in this Italian recipe, its blinking tasty and tastes deliciously fresh and summery, although, I would eat it all year round as it’s all store cupboard. The texture of the broad beans works so well with the spaghetti and all it’s plant based if you don’t add parmesan or pecorino.

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pasta alla checca with fennel

The flavours of this really sum up Italy for me, it’s a really fresh delicious pasta recipe which dates back to the sixties in Rome, the area where my Italian family come from. There’s lots of versions but my favourite has ground fennel in it which I love, I grind the seeds in my coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle so it’s super fresh. Its the perfect dinner for al fresco dining and you can add a burrata on top, or fried capers. I just serve it with a salad.

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friggione bolognese (slowly braised onions that go with everything)

If you read my blog you will know I adore onions, and this ancient recipe from Bologna dates back to 1886. Its a homage to the onion and once cooked this way they become sweet and unctuous. It’s traditionally served on bruschetta, polenta, cheese or with meat or fish, and it tastes absolutely delicious. I sometimes eat it on my scorched or roasted sourdough (recipe on here) with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and you can add big grating of parmesan if you fancy and a salad for lunch or it’s even delicious with pasta. It would be brilliant on canapés too. You can add pancetta and chilli flakes, however it’s the simplicity of this recipe that makes it magical.

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killer spaghetti (spaghetti all’assassina)

This spaghetti recipe from Puglia looks simple from the ingredients, but it’s all about the technique. The trick is the spaghetti has to crisp up and scorch a bit because this is what gives it its unique flavour and texture. It’s cooked in a similar way to a risotto with the liquid added bit by bit till the pasta is cooked. It’s one of those recipes you wonder how you missed it, if you haven’t already tried it. The pasta goes red from the tomato and absorbs all the flavours from the chilli and garlic and it’s utterly delicious.

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my big fat greek baked beans (gigantes plaki)

I have always had a soft spot for these delicious Greek baked beans, they are easy to make, all plant based and excellent with warm flatbreads (check out my pizza dough recipe to make truly fresh flatbreads) and my creamy bean hummus (takes 5 minutes) with a crisp green salad. If you aren’t going down the vegan route then they are fantastic served with a big block of feta, some olives and warm flatbreads for a tasty mezze.

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cherry sorbet

I love cherries in anything, and this delicious sorbet is all raw. I buy a bag of frozen stoned dark cherries from the freezer department in my local Sainsbury’s (they are only £2.00 for 500g which is a bargain) 

The sorbet is beyond easy to make, no churn and I like to serve it with biscotti and or some shaved dark chocolate on top… or just garnished with fresh cherries.

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