HOT OFF THE PASS
A Catalan speciality, this is a fresh sausage traditionally made from pork meat, salt and pepper. There are many different versions, including black butifarra and even a sweet one. It’s often added to escudella, a one-pot stew traditionally made with dried chickpeas and lots of different cuts of meat.
LA BOMBA DE LA BARCELONETA
This is one of the most popular tapas in Barcelona. It’s a big fried ball made with mashed potato and normally stuffed with spicy carrots or meat. La Cova Fumada claims to be the birthplace of this dish and it’s definitely worth a visit – an old-fashioned bar serving great food.
This is deep-fried eel and you can find it in most restaurants in Amposta, in the province of Tarragona. With its golden colour and crispy texture it’s delicious.
PAN CON TOMATE
Known as pa amb tomàquet, this is a very simple dish in Catalan cuisine and was a way to soften up old bread using ripe tomatoes and olive oil. Catalans use ‘hanging tomatoes’, so-called because they are kept hanging for a whole year.
These addictive double-baked biscuits are very similar to Italian cantuccini. Enjoy them with carajillo – coffee with a splash of either whisky, brandy, anisette or rum. Coca vegetarian 1 HOUR 20 MINUTES + PROVING | SERVES 6 | EASY | V You can find cocas (sort of tongue-shaped pizzas) of all kinds – sweet, savoury, very simple, very complicated – and all of them are great in my opinion.
fast-action dried yeast 7g sachet or fresh yeast 12g caster sugar a pinch plain flour 500g fine sea salt 10g, plus extra to sprinkle extra-virgin olive oil 1 tbsp, plus extra to drizzle and serve fine polenta to dust
TOPPING pumpkin or butternut squash 1 small (around 750g), cut into wedges red onions 2, cut into wedges sage leaves a handful cooked chestnuts 150g, roughly chopped thyme a few sprigs, to serve
• Put the yeast into a bowl with a splash of lukewarm water and a pinch of sugar, and mix into a paste. Pour in 250ml of lukewarm water and mix again.
• Sift the flour and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Pour in the yeast water and extra-virgin olive oil, and knead with a dough hook for 5 minutes on low. Leave to stand for 10 minutes then knead again for
5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Cover and leave for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
• Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Put the pumpkin and onions in a roasting tin, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, add the sage leaves and season. Roast for 30 minutes until starting to turn golden.
• Divide the dough into 6 equal portions, then roll out on a lightly floured worksurface into long 30cm ovals. Sprinkle two baking trays with polenta and put the dough on top. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for 15 minutes.
• Turn the oven up to 240C/fan 220C/gas 9. Brush the dough bases lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Toss the chestnuts with the pumpkin and divide between the breads, leaving a 2cm border around the edge. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bases are golden and crisp. Scatter over some thyme and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.