By Helen Westwater

In the neighbourhood of Benimaclet, where La Ola Fresca is situated, we are swinging into Spring kicking off in April with a series of monthly organic food markets and talks which explore the production of food through ecological and sustainable methods. It’s Ecomaclet! Check out Facebook Ecomaclet for the programme of events.

With the change of the season we can also welcome in a greater choice of vegetables and array of colours. So, here’s a wheat-free recipe that is both healthy and delicious… to bring some of that Spring vibrance to your plate.

Ingredients for 4 people

Vegetable spaghetti
1 medium-size spaghetti squash (pumpkin)
2 medium sized courgettes
1/2 lemon

Tomato Pesto sauce
1/2 onion finely diced
4 large fresh tomatoes skinned or 1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 large handful sun-dried tomatoes rehydrated with boiling water
2 garlic cloves
1 cup of virgin olive oil + oil for frying
75g of parmesan cheese finely grated + shavings for decoration
Ground black pepper and salt
Roasted hazlenuts chopped
Basil leaves for decoration

Preheat the oven to 350F 180C gas mark 4
First prepare the spaghetti squash. Cut it down the middle. Scoop out the seeds and place it face down in a baking tray. Pour about 1/4 to 1/2 jug of water into the tray to keep the squash from drying out and place in the oven to cook for about 40 minutes.

While the squash is cooking, place the sundried tomatoes in boiling water to hydrate and soften them. Then, to skin the fresh tomatoes, make small cuts in the skin and then soak also using boiling water. Peel, cut in half to discard the seeds and roughly chop.

Next, finely dice the onion and heat a little olive oil in the pan at a low heat. When it starts to sizzle, gently cook, being careful not to burn. When the onion is just starting to brown, add the roughly-chopped tomatoes to the pan. Turn up the heat and cook down, adding a little water when necessary. Lower the heat and cook for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the courgette. You can either use a julien or with a vegetable peeler. First, make flat slices and then cut length ways to create spaghetti shapes. Set aside in a colander to drain.

Now place the soaked sundried tomates in a small food processor or with a hand-held blender, blend them with the olive oil and cloves of garlic, followed by the grated parmesan. Finally, add this mix into the fresh tomato mixture. Season to taste with the salt and pepper, stir and set aside.

By this time your squash should be ready. Test that it is with a knife and then scoop out and discard the seeds. Scrape out the spaghetti strands. Squeeze the half lemon. Set a little olive oil to heat in a saucepan. Add the spaghetti squash. Take off the heat then add the courgette spaghetti strands. Add the lemon juice and a little sea salt and toss together so you have a mix of colours. Place directly onto plates and top with your freshly-made tomato sauce. Sprinkle with shavings of parmesan, chopped roasted hazelnuts and basil leaves.

La Ola Fresca
Join us to ‘swing into Spring’ this April with:
8th 17:00h Macrobiotic cooking with Carabassa kitchen 15€ Reserve
14th 17:00h Cook, bake, speak English ‘Hot cross buns’ 15€ Reserve
15th 11:00-16:00h Easter Brunch Special with egg painting 12€ Reserve
25th 18:00-19:00h Cuenta cuentos in German 2€ per child Reserve
29th 12:00h ‘Swing into Spring’ party Satchmo school of dance and concert with Key Day
+ weekly events
Every Tuesday 15:00h ‘Speak English’ lunch 10€ Reserve
Every Thursday 20:30h ‘Speak English’ informal language practice
Every Saturday 12:00h Tandem Aperitivo Hour
Every Sunday 11:00h-16:00h Brunch 10€
Happy Easter!

La Ola Fresca
C/ Musico Magenti, 11
Zona Benimaclet
Tel: 610 026 305

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