Paella Valenciana

Now doesn’t THIS look mouth watering!

During this trip to Spain, I got the chance to help Carmen, a very sweet Spanish woman from Valencia, cook a typical Valencian paella meal with chicken meat and rabbit meat. I watched her cook the meat at first then add vegetables (green beans and white beans) and finally water and have everything simmer for a long time. To add flavor and color to the paella, Carmen added 3 large fresh springs of rosemary, salt and a generous sprinkle of saffron powder. She left the meat and vegetable cooking until everything became soft and aromatic before adding the rice. She let the rice absorb liquid completely, which didn’t take a long time because she kept everything uncovered and on high fire. Excuse me for not noting down measurements of ingredients, but I took some delicious photos for you, so here you go!

Click for photos and description (almost a recipe!).

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Serra

Serra is a little old town 35km north of Valencia. The plan was to go there in the afternoon  to have ice cream and walk around, but the weather was cold and humid so we settled for coffee instead. Here are a few photos from the beautiful little town Serra.

Long Weekend in Westport

What is everyone up to this weekend? I joined a group of close friends in Westport for a long weekend of catching up, relaxation and fishing. The cottage we are staying in is super cozy and warm. When we were driving to it, we thought we were going driving to the end of the world. The roads were unpaved, thin and lined with trees so high that you can’t see the sky. We had to drive for 15 minutes outside of the town of Westport to get to it. But the moment we parked the car and went into the cottage, we were breath taken by the  genuine feel of it and the amazing view of the lake. Take a look at these photos and let me know what you think.

Have a nice weekend.

Free Pets

Montreal is full of interesting and trendy people; I love walking down Mont Royal or St. Denis and admiring the fashion on the street! I spotted this man walking with his family (wife and baby) and their pets: a dog and these two lovely birds perched on his hands! Quite a quaint fashion statement, eh?!

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Penne All’Amatriciana

One of my favorite Roman dishes is pasta with amatriciana sauce. Amatriciana sauce originates from the town Amatrice (hence the name) and it is based on diced bacon and tomatoes. I haven’t tried cooking it at home before, so I gave it a shot last weekend and came out with this:

It is quite easy to make, follow the recipe below and you won’t go wrong!

Penne All’Amatriciana (for 2)

Ingredients:

- 1/2 cup of diced bacon
– 1 small onion, diced
– 1 garlic clove, diced
– 1 can of tomatoes peeled and chopped or 1.5 cups of passata di pomodoro (tomato purée)
– A sprinkle of dried chili flakes

- 2 cups of dried penne pasta cooked according to al dente

- 1 Tbsp grated pecorino cheese or parmigiano cheese

Method:

1. Heat a frying pan and fry the diced bacon until they’re soft. Make sure not to overcook as they will harden. If they ooze a lot of fat, discard the liquid fat and leave a spoonful or so.

2. Add the diced onions and fry until translucent.

3. Add the garlic and stir everything for a minute.

4. Add the passata and season with a little bit of salt and the chili flakes. Bring to boil, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

5. When the sauce is ready, add in the cooked penne, give it a good stir until the pasta and the sauce are well mixed together.

6. Serve immediately and don’t forget to sprinkle the cheese, plenty of it!

E buon appetito!