Coca veg­e­tar­ian

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HOT OFF THE PASS

BUTIFARRA

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.

XAPADILLO

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.

CARQUINYOLS

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.

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