Monthly Archives: March 2014

Spicy Tagliatelle with Mussels

Spicy Tagliatelle with Mussels
Spicy Tagliatelle with Mussels

This is absolutely one of our favorite pasta of all time! We make this at least 2-3 times a month and since it is easy to make, it never fails. If you are fond of mussels, give this a try. We guarantee you will not be disappointed!

Ingredients for Mussels for 4 Servings

  • 1 kg (2 pounds) of mussels – mejillones
  • A splash of olive oil – aceite de oliva
  • 1 shallot – chalote
  • 1 glass of white wine – vino blanco
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary – ramas de romero 

Wash and debeard the mussels. Also check that they are alive by knocking them on the table. If a mussel stays open, throw it away – it’s dead.

Pour a splash of olive oil along with finely chopped shallot and thyme in a sauce pan. Put in on high heat. When the onions are soft, add a glass of white wine and bring to boil. Add the mussels and cover with lid. This way the white wine steam will cook the mussels! Shake the pan after couple of minutes. Remove the pan from the heat when most of the mussels are open. Don’t wait until the last one of them is open, because there might be some dead ones and you’d destroy the soft structure of those which are fine. Put the mussels on the side to wait for the tagliatelle.

Ingredients for Spicy Tagliatelle for 4 Servings

  • 400 g (15 oz) of tagliatelle – pasta tagliatelle
  • splash of extra virgin olive oil – aceite olive extra virgen
  • 4 sprigs of thyme – ramas de tomillo
  • 1/2 leek (green part, too) – puerra
  • 1 chili – pimienta picante
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts – alcachofa
  • 1 lemon – limón
  • 2 dl (1 cups) of grated parmesan cheese – parmesano rallado
  • ground black pepper – pimienta negra
  • sea salt – sal marina

Cook the pasta al dente. We prefer making fresh pasta from scratch, but you can use whatever pasta you like. While the pasta is cooking, you can cook the sauce. Put a sauce pan on medium heat. Cook thyme leaves, chopped leek, chili and artichoke hearts until they are soft. Squeeze lemon juice on the pan and season with salt and pepper. Add cooked tagliatelle, mussels and half of the grated parmesan cheese. Stir carefully and serve on the plates. Use rest of the parmesan to garnish the dishes.

¡Buen provencho!

Lamb Chops with Red Wine Sauce

Lamb chops in red wine sauce.
Lamb chops in red wine sauce.

One evening we had a wine tasting at a local restaurant. One of the dishes that they served with the wines was smoked lamb with red wine sauce. This was an excellent dish and we decided to make our own version of it by adding smoke to the sauce – not smoking the lamb. So, next Saturday our local butcher sold us half a lamb…

Ingredients for Lamb Chops for 4 Servings

  • Half a small lamb (or two whole racks) – medio cordero pequeño
  • A bunch of rosemary – romero
  • A bunch of thyme – tomillo
  • 6 cloves of garlic – dientes de ajo
  • 1 dl (0.5 cups) olive oil – aceite de oliva
  • 2 tablespoons of honey – miel
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt – sal marina
  • 1 tablespoon of whole black peppers – pimienta negra
  • 2 tablespoons of Jerez vinegar – vinagre de Jerez

Clean the lamb carcass (if your butcher didn’t do it already for you) from excess fat and membranes. Separate rack, tenderloin and neck.

Make the marinade by mixing all ingredients together. Marinate the lamb parts in fridge overnight.

Place the rack on a preheated hot grill for about 2 minutes per side to sear the surface. Reduce the heat and let the rack to roast for about 20 to 25 minutes per side. Let it rest for 10 minutes before carving it up.

 Ingredients for Red Wine Sauce for 4 Servings

  • 1 smoked onion – cebolla ahumado
  • 1 carrot – zanahorna
  • 1 bay leaf – hoja de laurel
  • 1/2 bottle of red wine – vino tinto
  • 1 tablespoon of honey – miel
  • 2 tablespoons of butter – mantequilla
  • 2 tablespoons Jerez vinegar – vinagre de Jerez
  • parsley – perejil
  • black pepper – pimienta negra
  • sea salt – sal marina

If possible, smoke the onion to get rich deep flavor for the sauce, but you can use regular onion, too. Cut carrot into small cubes. Pour red wine to a sauce pan and bring to boil. Add carrot cubes, onion (cut in pieces, if not smoked), parsley, honey and Jerez vinegar to the boiling red wine. Let it slowly simmer for half an hour until the reduced by half.

Strain the sauce and bring to boil again. Season with ground black pepper and sea salt. Thicken with corn starch, if needed. In the very end, add butter to the sauce while stirring heavily. This adds richness and gloss to the sauce.  

For the side we steamed some carrots, Brussels sprouts and spring onions.

¡Buen provecho!