Tag Archives: broad beans

Bucatini with Vignarola and Burrata

The decadence and totally over-the-top nature of this pasta are what makes it so very good. I don’t say this lightheartedly: usually, Italian recipes are very much about the ‘less is more’ approach, and this is what I love about them the most. Yet, sometimes, piling it all up high is just the right thing to do. In the case of this recipe, for example, it works.

The base is a Roman-inspired spring concoction called vignarola. This is a dish made of fresh peas, broad beans, artichokes, sometimes lettuce, sometimes fresh herbs, others bits of guanciale for extra flavour – all braised in oil and white wine until tender and utterly flavoursome. Vignarola is often served on bread, which has the double purpose of carrier and sponge for absorbing the delightful juices left at the end. You can sometimes find vignarola served alongside some fresh ricotta, but mostly, it can hold the stage on its own.

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Broad Bean and Pecorino Bruschetta


Life rolls fast these days, and so does the cooking. Meals have been simple around here lately – stripped back, essential. The host of green produce that is finally coming into season helps me to keep things uncomplicated and yet somehow exciting. Even the simplest of salads or a toastie can turn into a feast in its own right.

We love things on toast around here, and we tend to eat them often, so I always keep a loaf of bread at the ready. At this time of the year, we have been eating toast with smashed fresh peas with mint and feta; with artichokes, or spring vegetables and burrata; or, like in this case, with broad beans and pecorino.

The recipe isn’t much of a recipe per se, but rather a serving suggestion. For two people, start with about 500 gr of fava beans (in their pod). Shell the beans, blanch them for 30 seconds in boiling water, drain them and let them sit in an ice bath for 5 minutes. Peel and discard the outer shells, then place the beans in a bowl. Season with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, good olive oil, and some lemon juice. Meanwhile, toast some sourdough or baguette. Season with olive oil, then arrange the fava beans on the bread, shave some pecorino on top, and serve with some micro greens (totally optional) or some freshly torn mint leaves. Serve.

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