A very wise friend recently shared a brilliant quote with me from Nigella Lawson:
if you can’t achieve balance in your life you might as well find it in cooking
Well thank you Nigella for validating the time I spend on my culinary pursuits, like this recipe for pancetta and fava bean pasta, and my little blog.
In addition to the sore throat I started the week off with, I’ve in general been feeling let’s say icky this week. It is a combination of things that I won’t bore you with, but let’s just say it led to me procrastinating on work this morning by searching mini-break options for this weekend. When in doubt go to the mountains…
Since a little break away does not seem to be in the cards, I turned to my next favorite pick me up: pasta. Pasta always warms my heart – and it is generally a cozy, warming meal, which is exactly what I need since it has been more like Winter, than Spring with snow and blustery winds the past few days.
Ah pappardelle pasta how I love you. I think it is most beautiful shape of all pastas. Don’t you agree? The long noodles look like piles of ribbon on the plate. Often people complain that pasta can be hard to plate and look good, but I can not imagine everyone having that complaint about pappardelle.
This recipe was my first time cooking with fava (or broad) beans. Nutrition note to balance out the pasta and pancetta fava beans are excellent sources of magnesium, potassium, and protein. If you can not find these beans fresh, they should be available canned or frozen. I did learn that one pod may only have 3 or 4 beans, so you will need more than you think. I had about 30 pods to get a cup of beans. If you need help on how to cook these spring time beans The Kitchn has a great how to article.
I really enjoyed this meal, it was very simple but looked and tasted great. Definitely something you could prepare for a dinner party that would look impressive and fresh. Nothing screams spring like fava beans and pork or at least I can’t think of anything.
The recipe is adapted from May’s Delicious Magazine. The original version used white wine in the sauce and suggested topping with fresh mint, but I didn’t have either on hand (and usually do not) I adapted the white wine with chicken stock and white wine vinegar. This is my go-to white wine adaption and it works every time!
So as we wait for Spring tell me what are you eating right now? And how excited are you for Spring produce?!
- 400 g pappardelle pasta
- 1 cup broad/fava beans (cooked, removed from shell)
- ½ cup pancetta, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup chicken stock
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- Olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Bring 10 cups of salted water to a boil then add pappardelle pasta. Cook for 7-10 minutes (or according to pasta package).
- Place a fry pan over medium heat and add in chopped pancetta, cook for 5 minutes and remove from pan. Now add 1 tsp of olive oil in the pan and 2 cloves of crushed garlic, saute for 2 minutes. Add 1 tbsp of white wine vinegar scraping up any bits from the pancetta and garlic stuck to the pan. Add ⅓ cup of chicken stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat and add ⅓ cup of full cream. Simmer to reduce and thicken.
- Once sauce has thicken slightly, add pancetta and beans and simmer for another minute. Season with pepper as necessary.
- Toss sauce with pasta and serve with a green salad.