In a bid to use some of the fruits (or perhaps that should be vegetables?) of our labour, I took to google to find a recipe that involved broad beans. I had a quick search on the way to the shops, The Husband was driving I hasten to add, and found this recipe on BBC food. I always start there and can generally find something to fit the bill.
Having bought a few ingredients at the supermarket to help me fashion something vaguely similar, it was then time to pod the broad beans. I have to admit I've never done this before, and luckily I double checked and realised that the pod needs removing but also that larger beans need to have the white outer shells individually removed too.
It was quite therapeutic, although the pods didn't yield as many beans as I thought. I did spot this recipe for making fritters from the pods which sounded delicious, but they were quite furry on the inside so I'm curious as to whether that is normal or whether it's a sign they were picked a little early. I couldn't see the fuzzy insides working well being frittered but perhaps I am lacking in culinary imagination. So onto the beans, the smaller ones (of which there were many) didn't need shelling, but the larger ones were boiled for two minutes in boiling water and then placed into cold water where they all gently split open, and the shells slipped off to reveal the bright green beans inside.
The low volume of beans meant that I raided the fridge and happened upon some leeks which were drafted in for emergency meal bulking. They were a successful choice and made the dish feel more substantial without being overpowering or making the dish too heavy for the summer.
I didn't use Parmesan because we had some cheese already open, but I've included it in the recipe because I think it would have worked well. The original recipe didn't have garlic, and used a lot less cream, but I was pleased with the final version and think that the recipe worked. I've said that it serves three to four, as it probably would serve four but The Husband polished off enough for two people when he commandeered the leftovers for his dinner on Monday night.
Broad Bean, Leek and Pancetta Carbonara
Adapted from BBC Good Food
Serves 3-4 people, Prep time 10 minutes (plus shelling broad beans), Cooking time 20 minutes
400g fresh ribbon pasta (e.g. tagliatelle or pappardelle)
85g pancetta lardons
100g podded, shelled broad beans
2 medium leeks
2 cloves garlic
2 egg yolks
100ml single cream
2 tbspn wholegrain mustard
salt and pepper to season
- Slice leeks and boil in salted water for 3-4 minutes. While leeks are boiling, fry pancetta and garlic in a large non-stick pan.
- Once pancetta is cooked, drain leeks and add to the pancetta, along with the broad beans. Boil pasta in a separate pan, and continue to keep the pancetta mixture on a low heat.
- While the pasta is cooking, whisk the egg yolks, cream and mustard together in a bowl, and season the mixture well with salt and pepper.
- When the pasta has cooked, add a ladle of the pasta cooking water to the pancetta, broad bean and leek mixture. Drain the pasta and add this to the mixture too.
- Combine the pasta with the pancetta, broad beans and leeks and pour over the egg mixture, stirring gently over a low heat until well mixed. Add half of the parmesan to the pan.
- As soon as the mixture is well combined, spoon into bowls and top with the remaining parmesan