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Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Lemon Drizzle Cake

A feathery sponge cake, drenched in a glistening, tangy syrup: fairly simple, yet so full of character. These are the words that best describe this cake, in my opinion. The first time I had it was when my boyfriend's mum baked it for me, in the occasion of my birthday. I have been making it ever since, following the recipe she passed on to me, with a little twist: the addition of two tablespoons of lemon curd to the batter, to make it even more lemony! I like using a loaf tin as I enjoy the rectangular, yellow slices that it produces, however you can use a regular round tin if you prefer.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Venison fillet with Mushroom & Onion Gravy

I love game and its rich flavour, which works so well with the root vegetables winter offers to us. This venison fillet was the star of a celebratory pre-Christmas meal for my boyfriend and I.  In the midst of the travel disruptions and flight cancellation frenzy that is affecting me directly, I have decided to make the most of my extra time in the UK and at least get a nice meal out of it :-)

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Root Vegetable Gratin

This is a warming, oozing, comforting dish that casts the vegetables as the leading character, and gives the pancetta that accompanies it the supporting role. Of course you could leave the pancetta out, should you wish to make this a vegetarian dish. However if you do eat meat, I recommend you include the pancetta: this is an example of how you can make a little meat go a long way. I have used potatoes, carrots and parsnips, but you could choose celeriac, turnips, Jerusalem artichokes or any other root vegetable you may like. This gratin is very rich, so while you could serve it as a decadent side dish, it is certainly bold enough to be a main dish in its own right. In that case, accompany it with a mixed leaf salad, or some steamed greens.

Sunday, 12 December 2010


Ricciarelli are almond and sugar biscuits traditionally eaten around Christmas time, which originate from the city of Siena, in Italy. They are fat and gluten free (although very sugary), with a melt in the mouth consistency and a sweet, lingering scent. They keep well in an airtight container and therefore make lovely presents to give to your friends and family. You can accompany them with an aromatic espresso, or dip them in dessert wine (for instance, Vin Santo).

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Naan bread

Tuscany certainly offers lovely food, however foreign cuisine is pretty much unknown to the locals. As a result, I had my first Indian meal only when I came to the UK for my undergraduate degree course. The myriad of new flavours, exotic spices and obscure ingredients completely overwhelmed me and I must admit I was thoroughly unimpressed with it. Still, I saw how fond of Indian food the majority of British people are (not to mention the rest of the globe), so a little at the time, I made an effort to sample different dishes and educated myself to recognise the different spices and ingredients. Now, I simply adore Indian food and regularly cook it or have it at restaurants!
One of the dishes I am most passionate about is naan bread. Soft, warm and the ideal tool to scoop up a curry, what's not to like? Last night I decided to have a go at making my own: the verdict is that is surprisingly easy and definitely beats the shop bought naans (which tend to be quite chewy). I have never had a chance to watch anyone making naan bread before, so I followed a recipe by the great Madhur Jaffrey I found on Google.

Spinach & Lamb Curry (Saag Gosht)

This Indian curry is thick, spicy, hot and delicious, the perfect dish to warm you up on a cold Autumn Saturday evening.  I have adapted the recipe from this month's Olive magazine, adding natural yoghurt, fenugreek seeds, chopped tomatoes and coriander to the original one. I have used lamb neck fillet, which becomes meltingly tender through the slow cooking process, and served it with home-made naan bread.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb

My boyfriend's mum owns a farm and breeds cows, sheep and pigs. The animals live a very happy life, roaming outdoors all day, grazing the green grass of the Somerset hills and if they have any hard feed, it is always organic. We recently bought half a lamb and about 12 Kg of beef. May I just say, I am so glad we own a massive freezer! We are now stocked up for the winter and it's such a brilliant feeling to know we have access to so many different cuts of meat, each one waiting to be honoured with the way of cooking that suits it best - braising, roasting, frying, stewing. This is how I have decided to celebrate the leg of lamb.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Beef Stew

Here's my first stew of the season. So easy to make, yet so rewarding. Don't be put off by the long cooking time stews usually require; it's simply a matter of putting all the ingredients together in a casserole, then pop the latter in the oven and forget about it until it's time to take it out. I went out for a long walk in the park, with a stopover to the shops, while mine was cooking. Upon my return, I was welcomed home by the most hearty, rich scent, announcing that my dinner was waiting for me. Another strong point in favour of stews is that their flavour develops with time, and they taste even better the following day. So make too much, to ensure you have leftovers to enjoy the following day!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Apple & Almond Crumble

This is an autumnal, comforting pudding which lacks the sense of guilt you may be left with after scoffing a sugar loaded, dairy-heavy dessert, as it is mainly constituted by fruit. Or at least this is what I like to tell myself. I served this with a dollop of Yeo Valley's Apple Flapjack yoghurt, to remain on the virtuous side; however double cream or vanilla ice-cream would not be out of place here, either.

Breakfast Patties

I got the idea for this recipe from one published by Nigel Slater in the Observer  Food Monthly a few months ago; however because I couldn't remember exactly all the ingredients he had listed and the quantities, I created my own version. Patties are great to make even by inexperienced cooks as they are pretty much impossible to get wrong. In addition, they are suitable to feed a large quantity of people even if you are short of time, as you can prepare the mix the evening before and simply fry them the following morning. I accompanied mine with roasted cherry tomatoes and sautéed garlic mushrooms, but you can of course use eggs, toast, beans, or even serve them as a main dish alongside a green salad for a quick and tasty mid-week dinner.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Lemon Cupcakes

I made these for a friend's birthday party yesterday. I followed the recipe from the Hummingbird bakery cookbook, however introducing a few changes of my own (i.e. I put less sugar in the sponge mix, to balance the sweetness of the icing; and included lemon juice in the latter, to make it more tangy). I also left out the yellow food colouring for the icing and chose use blue sugar flowers and purple edible glitters as decorations.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Garlic & Parsley Steak with Tempura Vegetables

The peculiarity of this steak is that it is marinated after being cooked, not the other way round. As a result, the flavours of the marinade stay very fresh. The vegetables that accompany it are cooked in a pastella, which is an Italian light beer batter which can be loosely translated a 'tempura' (although this recipe is not the same as for the Thai dish). They are extremely addictive and an original alternative to the usual chips.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Warm Goat's Cheese, Black Truffle and Walnut Salad

This is a lovely, easy-peasy starter that carries a whiff of Autumn. I appreciate truffle is quite expensive and not that easy to get hold of, so if you don't have any you can substitute it with truffle-infused oil or leave it out altogether, and use walnut oil for the dressing instead.

Chocolate & Amaretto Torte

The idea for this torte sprung from the need to create a pudding for my boyfriend's birthday dinner. Two of his favourite ingredients are chocolate and amaretto, and he loves chilled desserts. Therefore, I have included amaretto both in the form of liqueur and biscuits, and used an equal amount of dark and milk chocolate mixed with mascarpone to make a smooth filling. The result is an incredibly rich, indulgent pudding. Probably suitable to be a birthday dessert, as you should only be allowed to consume this amount of calories once a year!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Focaccia al Rosmarino (Rosemary Focaccia)

This is the recipe that lends its name to my blog. Why, you will ask (and even if you don't, I will tell you anyways). Because I think it sums up the kind of cooking I like. From scratch, as there are no shortcuts for making a good focaccia. Simple, like the few ingredients it is made from. Passionate, as it is only passion that would have you decide to dedicate a few hours to the kneading, patiently waiting for the dough to rise and the the baking. Soothing and comforting, like the lovely smell of warm bread and rosemary that spreads around the house when I bake my focaccia. And finally, satisfying, like the feeling I get when I see the happy faces of my family and friends tucking in.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Pizza (Grilled Aubergines & Speck; Margherita)

There's no need for introduction, for pizza! What more can I say, except that it is one of the dishes that allows you to be the most creative. You can use pretty much whatever tickles your fancy in terms of toppings, and you can make your base thin, doughy, crunchy or soft. I am not a purist when it comes to pizza; just experiment with flavours and find the recipe that works for your taste buds. Here's mine!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Crostini with Fresh Porcini Mushrooms (Ceps)

We hereby conclude this Tuscan trilogy with a real jewel: fresh Porcini mushrooms, also known in the UK as "ceps". At least once in your lifetime,  you have to try this exquisite, umami-drenched delicacy.  When fresh, they have a woody, rainy smell: close your eyes and you'll think you are in a dark, cool chestnut-tree wood in the Tuscan mountains. Total bliss! One mouthful will suffice for you to realise why they are so expensive. I happen to be lucky enough to have an uncle (my zio Nedo) who has been picking Porcini since he was a little child. He knows the woods surrounding his house like his own pockets, and when it rains, he gets up bright and early in the morning (read 5:00 am), then sweeps the woods and comes back home with something like 30 Kg of porcini. I kid you not! One really cool thing he does is, he never uses plastic bags when picking mushrooms; he always carries them in a wicker basket, so that the spores can fall out as he walks across the wood and new Porcini are soon born, making the supply endless and the foraging sustainable. This recipe is my mum's.

Italian Tomato Soup

For the second recipe of my "Tuscan Culinary Deeds" series, I present you with a soup that is essentially summer in a bowl. In Italy, tomatoes are plentiful, ruby-red, juicy and not last but not least dirt cheap in the Summer; therefore, making this soup as a first course offers a nice alternative from the usual pasta al pomodoro (with tomato sauce). Once again the recipe is my dad's, who learnt it from my nonna (his mum).

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Cecina (Chickpea Flatbread)

I am back from a 2 weeks holiday in the beautiful Tuscan countryside, where my family lives and where I was born and grew up. There are so many lovely things to eat there, I won't even attempt to make a list! Therefore, I am going to post a few recipes of what I have been cooking, just to give you an idea :-) This first one is a traditional dish only known within the Pisa/Livorno area, called "cecina". It is a sort of flatbread made with chickpea flour; it sounds peculiar, but it is incredibly flavoursome. The end result should be quite soft and moist inside, with a golden, crunchy crust on top; it can be eaten on its own, with just a sprinkle of ground black pepper, or as a filling for a focaccia bread roll (as shown in the other pictures in the post). Yes, bread within bread! It is really simple to make, so do give it a go if you want to try and Italian dish you won't find at your local Italian restaurant. The recipe is my dad's.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Cheese, Tomato & Herbs Muffins

I made these savoury muffins for a friend's house-warming party. As we had planned to go round to hers straight after work I needed something that could have been made the evening before, be easily transportable and did not require to be stored in the fridge. So I came up with this idea! The flavour combinations for savoury muffins can truly be endless. I gave mine an Italian twist using cherry tomatoes, basil and oregano.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Sole in a Lemon & White Wine Sauce with Parsley Potatoes

Sole has been the star of our lunch last Saturday. This was lemon sole in particular; not that it naturally tastes of lemon at all :-) I understand it is called that because of its shape, which is supposed to remind one of the citrus fruit. Anyways, maybe inspired by its name, I have decided to include lemon amongst the ingredients of this dish, alongside white wine, which everybody knows marries well with fish. Coating the sole with flour will establish the foundation for your sauce, which in Italy is known as "alla mugnaia", which means "millman's sauce" - because of the flour it involves. I find it a very poetic name! The parsley potatoes are a side dish I learnt from my dad; I suggest you use waxy potatoes, which better hold their shape.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Stringy Pasta

This recipe is 'dedicated' to the people that say they don't have time to cook. It takes about 15 minutes to make from scratch, it is healthy, tasty and definitely more rewarding to eat than something that has just come out of the microwave. Pretty much all the ingredients bar the mozzarella are stuff that people tend to have in their cupboard anyways, so it takes very little planning from your side. A tip on the mozzarella: you can buy it and freeze it on the day of purchase, so you will have it handy when you decide to cook this dish and won't even have to go to the shops!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Octopus, Potato & Roasted Tomato Salad

Octopus, what a delicacy! If you have never tried it, do it at the first occasion as you do not know what you have been missing until now; if you are too squeamish to do so...well, shame on you :-) These creatures are extremely fascinating, and I have often admired them under water through the lenses of my snorkelling mask, lurking amongst the rocks of some cliff in the Mediterranean sea, waiting patiently for their prey to swim within reach of their tentacles. I also find them equally captivating on my plate, with their tender, delicate but oh so flavoursome flesh. If you cook octopus slowly and for long enough, you'll find there is no need to beat it about with a meat hammer or such to tenderise it, so it is also rather easy to prepare. Here's a recipe for a tasty summer salad.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Gratin of Mussels

I am normally not one for fiddly food that requires a long preparation: these mussels are the exception to my rule. And why is that, you will wonder? Because a single mouthful of their juicy flesh, covered in that golden, cheesy crust, is enough to repay me for the time spent in the kitchen scrubbing them clean, opening them all one by one, scraping the flesh from both shells to go into one and stuffing them with the various ingredients. If this hasn't put you off already from attempting to prepare this dish, please give them a go. I promise you won't regret having put in the effort!

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Courgette & Parmesan Fritters

These little fritters are an utter delight! Light, crunchy, not greasy at all, they are great even in this hot summer weather. You can serve them as an interesting side dish, tasty starter or as a nibble with drinks. The recipe is my mum's, although I have increased the quantity of Parmesan in my version. I strongly advise you to use super-fresh, firm courgettes that are not too large in size, as the big ones tend to taste a bit marrow-like.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Roast Monkfish with Olive Oil Mash & Aubergine

The week-end is the only time I can go to the fishmonger's; it normally opens when I am already off to work and closes before I get back home. Therefore, Saturday morning is the ideal time to pay him a visit and stock up on the fish I am going to freeze and use for our mid-week dinners. However, I can tell you right away that the freezing part is out of bare necessity (as I can't buy it every day, as I mentioned). If you want to eat fish, the best way to enjoy it is definitely fresh! So when I saw these glistening, pearly monkfish fillets this morning, I simply could not bring myself to do anything else but use them for our evening meal.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Peach & Almond Pie

You honestly can't beat Summer fruit. As much as I love the crunchy apples and juicy pears of Autumn and Winter, they simply can't compare to the colourful abundance of apricots, peaches, melons and berries you get in the warm season. My greengrocer yesterday was displaying such a variety of Summer fruit, all smelling enticing and sweet, that I suddenly got an urge for baking a peach pie! I decided to follow the recipe I use for making plum and walnut cake (which may sooner or later end up on the blog, too!), which is Nigel Slater's; however I implemented a few changes, such as roasting the peaches in honey before incorporating them to the cake batter; using self raising flour; and substituting the chopped walnuts with flaked almonds. Yum! Half of it's already gone...not all eaten by myself alone, mind you!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni

Here's another traditional Italian recipe. And I know that every Italian will tell you this, but...this version is unique because it has the special filling that my nonna (granny) uses, and inherited from her mother. This whole thing is a tad cliché, I admit it.  But the recipe honestly isn't! Read more to find out the family secret...

White Chocolate Pannacotta with Raspberry Coulis

Pannacotta has to be one of the easiest desserts you can make. The name means cooked cream, and that's exactly what it is! You can flavour it in any way you want, with vanilla, coffee, my case, white chocolate! Now I have to apologise, as I forgot to take a picture of the finished coulis, but I assure you the bright pink of the coulis looks extremely pretty against the delicate, pale pannacotta. Moreover, its sharpness cuts beautifully through the richness of the dessert. Give it a go and let me know what you think!

Grilled Asparagus

Here's another recipe with asparagus. Make the most of them, while they are in season: grilled, they are particularly delicious. Oh, you can make this recipe using a barbecue too, so here's an alternative to your usual coleslaw salad!

Monday, 31 May 2010

Aubergines Parmigiana (Melanzane alla Parmigiana)

Few dishes scream 'summer' to me like melanzane alla parmigiana. This is a proper mediterranean dish, its key ingredients being aubergines, tomatoes, basil, olive oil and of course, Parmesan cheese. It makes a great vegetarian main, or a tasty side. It is not exactly a light dish; you could grill the aubergines instead of frying them, however (at least in my opinion) the final result won't be as tasty. You also need to be generous with the cheese; a sprinkle just won't do, you need a good layer. If you are worried about your waistline, just eat a smaller portion or go for a long walk after lunch :-)

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Garlic Croutons

Today I have been to the 'Real Food Festival' at Earl's Court, here in London. It was brilliant! There were more than 400 stalls from small producers aiming to promote local, sustainable ingredients and traditional cooking, growing and breeding methods. I was just in my element and was jumping from a stall to another sampling the products and chatting to the producers, before buying a number of delicacies including Scottish Aberdeen Angus pastrami and sweet cured carpaccio, smoked bacon, Gloucestershire Old Spot sausages, Hundred Dram cheddar, Red Leicester and Mustard biscuits, lemon curd cookies, Somerset bread and a whole jar of sliced black truffle. Goodness me!
One of the things I enjoyed the most was meeting two young producers from Suffolk, who introduced me to the joys of rapeseed oil. Cold pressed and packed with omega 3, it was suggested as the British alternative to olive oil. While olive oil is a key ingredient to me, which I could never go without, I believe that it is often overrated here in the UK, in the sense that too often I see rubbish random, sourced 'god-knows-where-from' olive oils sold for a ridiculous amount of money in supermarkets. I get my olive from Italy, from producers my parents know personally and was therefore intrigued to try a different variety from two farmers whose love and care for their product was so clearly evident. So I bought a bottle, went home and tried immediately by using it in my roasted pumpkin soup. The result was delicious and the rapeseed oil gave the soup a nutty, uplifting edge. You really learn something every day!

PS - I really must mention another super-exciting fact: I watched Giorgio Locatelli making saltimbocca alla romana using English veal, accompanied by wild chanterelle mushrooms and melanzane alla parmigiana. And I got to be the first in line to taste the final dish! Needless to say, it was out of this world!!!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Asparagus Risotto

Because last Monday it was a bank holiday, we decided to take a short break and spend the long week-end in North Devon. We were quite lucky with the weather and drove around visiting many different villages, stopping over for lunch, dinner and of course, cream tea. My food highlights were a mixed grilled seafood platter that comprised bass, scallops and tiger prawns in Bideford; spanking fresh fish & chips in Braunton; and a crab and lemon mayonnaise sandwich followed by cream tea (with proper clotted cream and jam) in Lynmouth. On the way back, we stopped over at a farm shop that had a sign promising 'Freshly Picked Asparagus'. How to resist? Asparagus are one of the great gifts of spring to us, alongside swallows and daffodils. So as soon as we got home, I honoured this superb vegetable by making it the star ingredient of a creamy risotto.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Goat cheese & Chive Omelette

My boyfriend and I are a good match: I love cooking, he loves eating! Who am I kidding, I love eating too, however it's nice to have someone who is always up for being the guinea pig of your concoctions and is able to give you competent feedback on how to improve them. But...there is always a but. There is one thing he can't bring himself to eat: eggs. Fine if they are part of a cake, meatball or fritter, but don't suggest eggs Benedict or a frittata or he'll jump through the window - he can't even stand the smell. So, eggs have become the main ingredients of the 'dinners for one' I cook when he is away on business. Tonight, I really wanted a cheese omelette. I adore the combination fried egg and onion, but I didn't want the latter to overpower the taste of the cheese. Therefore I decided to use chives to convey a delicate oniony flavour, and a creamy goat cheese for the filling, which melts beautifully like brie does but whose taste is more robust. The result was excellent. My boyfriend really doesn't know what he is missing.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Sesame Beef Stir-Fry

There's a lovely little Korean restaurant near where we live, where after you have nibbled on a series of deliciously vinegary pickled vegetables and steamed dumplings as appetisers, they put a large grill in the middle of your table and cook your meat of choice in front of you. I love watching the waiter sapiently stirring the morsels of beef, pork or chicken with his chopsticks on the mini barbecue, and then placing them on your plate for you to eat rolled up in a lettuce leaf with rice. Sooo yummy. This evening, I decided to have a go at making my own sesame beef stiry fry. The final photo didn't come out great, but hopefully the recipe can make up for my poor photographer skills :-)

Apple & Chocolate Drops Muffins

This recipe is another offspring of yesterday's pic-nic catering requirements. My boyfriend being a (very) sweet tooth I wanted to take some sort of pudding to finish off the meal and to accompany our flask of freshly made hot espresso coffee - yes, coffee at a BBQ! It's another Italian tradition, in case you were wondering :-) Muffins immediately came to mind, once again for their portability and their individual-sized portions. My glance fell upon a few small, sweet Golden Gala apples I had bought to keep in the house for snacking, and since I love the combination chocolate+apple, here's how these muffins were born.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Bresaola Rolls

Whenever my mum and dad, brother or any other relative/friend from Italy visit us in London, they always come bearing much appreciated gifts in the form of fresh Italian produce :-) Not that the same things cannot be bought nowadays in most of our local shops or deli (although there are a few ingredients I still struggle to find). However, aside from the advantage of not coming with an over-inflated London price tag, these ingredients have the added bonus of having been sourced from my family's trusted butcher/baker/farmer or are from less popular, but better, Italian brands not sold in the UK. My parent's latest visit in March stocked our larder and fridge with countless delicacies, including bresaola, which is essentially cured beef (precisely the top round) and originates from the North of Italy, in Valtellina. In Italy it is normally served as an antipasto, dressed with a little olive oil, lemon juice and shaved parmesan, and scattered with rocket leaves. Here's how I like to jazz my bresaola up and turn it into a dead easy starter that's a bit different from the one you usually come across when it comes to this cured meat.

Cheese & Vegetable Flan

What beautiful weather this month has given us so far! The sun is shining, the temperature mild and getting out of bed and of the house in the morning does not seem as dreadful an idea as in the cold winter months. After many dark afternoons spent curled up on the sofa watching a DVD while the rain is pouring outside the window at the week-end, this Saturday morning I felt like I couldn't wait to get out and soak up the sun. At last, it's time for the first BBQ of the year! Alongside the grilled sausage sandwiches, enriched by my boyfriend's roasted cherry tomatoes and a dollop of piquant French mustard, I decided to skip the usual salad and serve a side dish that may be a bit unusual for the UK, but that is a big hit at Italian pic-nics. That's cheese and vegetable flan, or sformato di formaggio e verdure. Moreish, very portable and delicious even when served cold - therefore perfect for being eaten outdoors, with your toes on the grass and the sun on your back.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

My Mamma's Fried Chicken

Fried chicken - that's what I consider to be one of the biggest crowd pleasers. Whenever I have served this delicacy, I have always seen my guests going for not just second, but third or fourth helpings! My version of this dish is my mum's own special recipe; it is made with breast meat only, so that it is super tender and the cooking time is the same for all the pieces, and the batter is enriched with parmesan and parsley. The result is a crispy, savoury coating that encases juicy, moist strips of chicken. If you decide to cook this dish, my main advice is to make plenty: I would not be surprised if they prove to be addictive!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Improvised Paella

Saturday evening, I have a terrible cold and going out is not an option. It's still the week-end though, so I want to make something special for dinner. My boyfriend's late dash to our local fishmonger produces a few tiger prawns and some cockles, the remains of the stock for the day, long bagged by more organised people. Despite having run out of saffron and not owning a paella pan, I managed to rustle up a paella worthy of the name. After all, since there are so many variations of the dish and each area of Spain has its own, I believe I am allowed some creativity :-)

American Pancakes

I woke up to find the sun shining on a fine, April Saturday morning. What better way to start the week-end than making pancakes, I thought? I had a punnet of fresh strawberries, some milk and eggs in the fridge and all the other ingredients in the cupboard, so it took me absolutely no time to whip up this lovely breakfast. This is a quick, foolproof recipe that I urge you to try whenever you have company at the week-end. I guarantee it won't fail to make an impression!

Friday, 9 April 2010

Spaghetti with Mussels

Since this is my first post, I thought I'd start with something that is within my comfort zone. Being Italian, that means pasta! A nice plate of spaghetti with mussels is a beautiful thing made by a few simple ingredients; yet as for all the simple things, it is so easy to mess up. The countless times I had this dish and either the spaghetti was overcooked, or the sauce bland, or worst of all I found myself chewing on a gritty mouthful of pasta and...sand.  This is a step by step demonstration that will show you how to create a simple, yet incredibly tasty, spaghetti with mussels.