La Tasca, Jesús Pobre, Spain

La TascaI have visited this restaurant every summer for the last four years and it never fails to disappoint.  The food is always fresh and seasonal and everything, including the pasta is homemade. I have already mentioned La Tasca in a previous post, in which I attempted to recreate my favourite Ricotta and Spinach Tortellini with a butter and sage sauce, but its never quite the same as when you are sitting in this unique courtyard setting under the spanish sky.

This year we were lucky enough to book a table on a Tuesday evening, which is music night and we were entertained by a traditional gypsy family performing flamenco dancing and singing. The atmosphere was extremely magical and special and is something I will remember for many years to come.

To start, my husband and I shared a Burrata, which for those who don’t know is a delicious buffalo mozzarella, from Napoli in Southern Italy. This was served with toasted bread, topped with fresh spanish tomatoes and drizzled in basil oil. My mouth is watering as I write, as it is such a delight to eat.

The pasta at La Tasca is made daily and their speciality is the ravioli, with a different choice of fillings each day. On this particular evening I could have had ravioli with pear and gorgonzola, salmon and lemon cream, meat, or luckily for me, on this particular evening, the spinach and ricotta. However, the problem of which pasta to choose does not end there, you then have to choose a sauce to accompany the dish. The waiting staff are always on hand to recommend which sauces suit each pasta dish, but it really is up to individual preference. I was torn between Burro e Salvia ( melted butter and crispy sage leaves), Nata y Nueces (cream, walnut pieces and a touch of pepper) or their delicious Nata y Parmigiano (cream and melted parmesan cheese). After a good deal of deliberation I opted for the rather indulgent parmesan cream sauce to accompany my spinach and ricotta ravioli and it did not disappoint. Hurrah for pasta!

To finish, my husband enjoyed a Panna Cotta with berry jam and I opted for a second calorific, but to die for option, of a Crepe Suzette, which was heavenly.  Another fantastic evening at this atmospheric,  warm and friendly venue. La Tasca, I miss you already, but I know I will return…adios amigo!

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Passion Fruit Crème Brûlée

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Passion Fruit Crème Brûlée

Yet again my husband gets a mention and I’m beginning to realise that much of what I cook is dictated by his own likes and dislikes. He believes he is a connoisseur of the french classic, Crème Brûlée and will weigh up the quality of this dessert in restaurants compared to my own meagre offering. He still claims my version is the piece de resistance, but what he doesn’t know is that my recipe is a cheat version, as it is not cooked in a bain marieI’m not sure why he likes my recipe so much, but I think it is a combination of the crack of the caramelised sugar, the thick, but not quite set custard of the brûlée and the taste of fresh raspberries at the bottom.

We had some friends for supper last night and yet again he requested Crème Brûlée as his choice of dessert. I agreed, but decided to add my own twist by introducing Passion Fruit instead of raspberries. I recently visited a local restaurant (The Green) for lunch as part of a work related event and for pudding I ordered a Passion Fruit Crème Brûlée. Whilst I didn’t ask the chef for the recipe I thought that the combination worked really well. So with my age-old cheat recipe from a Cooking for Two Sainsburys cookbook committed to memory, (I don’t even have this recipe any more) I began to shake up my life some what by introducing a little passion (fruit) into the situation!

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