Europe Nostalgia: Italy

Time for my next post about my most recent Europe adventures! This trip marks my third visit to Italy. I am in love with the food and history in this beautiful country. Each region has its own specialty to offer the world and so it is essential to not just relive the Lizzie Mcguire movie in Roma! The three cities/regions that I visited in 2015 included Naples, Florence and Milan.

Naples 

Residing on the South East coast of the boot is the region of Naples. Home of Mount Vesuvius, Sorrento and the stunning Amalfi Coast, there is plenty to see, do and of course eat. From both research and word of mouth, I learnt that Naples was famous for pizza! However, being on my own meant that every time I ordered one, I had to consume the entire thing (no complaints). I also had a lucky experience of getting to watch the chefs make my pizza for me. I will be attempting this method at home in the foreseeable future.

Florence

If i had to pick one city in Europe overall even though it is basically an impossible question because each city is so different I would pick Florence. This was the second time I visited Florence and I loved it so much I decided to pop in again. The city is filled with stunning architecture, genuine leather products, fresh food and some exquisite gelato. To top it off, a last minute change of accommodation whilst en route to Florence ended up being the best decision I made and I ended up with a top notch room for my stay.

Milan

Unfortunately, I didn’t stay in Milan for very long (5 hours to be exact). However, I definitely got a feel of the place and a peek at some of the sights while there was still some daylight! I also enjoyed a meal here and of course gelato.

So there you have it, a little taste of Italy, a country that I will most definitely visit again.

Next post: Prague, Czech Republic

Spaghetti with Garlic Infused Oil

Travelling to Italy later this year has got me all inspired with food lately! I was looking for a light lunch today as opposed to something with a thick tomato or creamy sauce. Olive oil serves as a perfect base for pasta sauces as it is easy to incorporate flavours and they won’t be overpowered. Today, I chose to do a garlic infused oil for the base. This was my first attempt to create it and it worked out perfectly. It is much cheaper to make your own garlic infused oil than to purchase the prepackaged ones! It also means you know exactly what goes in which is always a good thing!

Spaghetti with Garlic Infused Oil (serves 2)

What you’re going to need 

1/2 packet thin spaghetti

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with the blade of a knife (not minced)

generous handful spinach

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

sprinkle pine nuts

salt, for pasta water

Method

1. Bring a large saucepan up to the boil with 1 tablespoon salt mixed through

2. Add pasta once boiling.

3. Heat up the oil in a frypan on a medium heat. Add the garlic and fry in the oil until fragrant (leave in longer for more intense flavour).

4. Once fragrant, remove garlic and add spinach and tomatoes. Cook until spinach is wilted and tomatoes are softened

5. Once pasta is cooked through, add to the sauce and toss through until evenly coated

6. Serve topped with pine nuts

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Nostalgia

So it has been almost eight months since I returned home from Europe last year. Thinking about the travel I have done just inspires me to do more so here is a just a reflection of things gone by in the wonderful land of Europe.