Pappardelle Pasta with Broad Beans, Peas and Prosciutto
( SERVES 4 )
Chance meetings often have unexpected outcomes. After running into Richard and Helen Dorresteyn from the Clevedon Farmers' Market I ended up having a conversation about my love of borlotti beans and my frustration at not being able to find them. A short time later an envelope arrived in the post containing three small packets of heirloom seeds, courtesy of Running Brook Seeds.
Running Brook Farm, on the Awhitu Peninsula, looks after a collection of traditional open-pollinated seeds, including many heirloom varieties. Hens roam free, weeding and composting simultaneously, and sheep and cattle are used for winter tidying and manuring of the garden beds.
The packets contained seeds of vegetables that are hard to find in the shops. The thin-skinned red kuri pumpkins will be roasted in a little olive oil to bring out their sweetness. The pea beans when green will be served with melting taleggio cheese, then shelled and tossed in olive oil or butter, or dried as white haricots to use in winter soups and stews. The handsome mottled cream and pink borlotti beans will be left on the vine for the pods to dry out before harvesting. When shelled, they'll be eaten warm with a salad of wild rocket, juicy cloves of new-season garlic and grilled bread smothered in olive oil.
I find beans irresistible and as there are still a few broad beans around, I'm going to make the most of them before the season ends. This is one of the simplest, freshest-tasting pasta dishes - one look and you just know it's going to taste good. I prefer not to serve cheese with it but don't let that stop you. A quality pecorino would be ideal.
|200 g||Peas, podded|
|200 g||Broad beans, podded|
|1 to taste||Salt|
|1 tsp||Caster sugar|
|1 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|250 g||Pappardelle pasta|
|100 g||Prosciutto, pasta|
- Cook the peas and beans separately in boiling water until tender. Don't add salt to the beans until the end of cooking. Add the sugar to the peas. Drain and skin the broad beans, then toss the beans and peas with the oil. Chop the parsley leaves, then halve and stone the olives.
- Make the dressing by whisking the oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta, then drain and toss with the beans, peas, parsley, olives and dressing. Tear the ham into rough pieces, fold through the warm pasta and serve immediately.