Friday, 27 August 2010

Pappardelle with broad bean and pea cream

Summer is coming to an end but there are still broad beans in the shops. Broad beans make an irresistible sauce to accompany pasta. They need careful handling so that they don’t become a claggy mess. This recipe combines them with peas, butter and mint to make a cream. And by not draining the pasta completely, a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water is used to dilute the cream so that it sticks evenly to the pasta, rather than sitting in clumps around the bowl.

Ideally, the pasta should be broad like pappardelle but you could use tagliatelle instead. A good brand of shop bought like Cecco is fine – Buitoni is not – or you could make your own if you want therapy and exercise and the sheer pride of serving home made pasta. But be careful: If it is too thick it will take so long to cook that it will pass the al dente stage and become pappy (perfect food for chickens or dogs).

Enough for 4 as a first course.

350g without pods or skins (about 700g in pods) broad beans
125 g – fresh or frozen peas
60g butter
60g parmesan
4 tablespoons double cream
To taste salt and pepper
A few leaves mint
400g pasta – bought


300g OO pasta flour
3 large eggs
½ teaspoon salt

1. Cook and skin the broad beans. Reserve a third of the beans. Cook the peas.

2. Add butter to the vegetables and briefly cook to melt the butter and combine the beans and peas.

3. Using a hand held liquidiser, coarsely chop the beans, peas and butter, then add half the parmesan, the cream and season to taste.

4. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Shop bought pasta will take about 10 minutes, home made half that time.

5. Just before you empty the pasta into a colander, scoop out a cupful of the water.

6. Drain the pasta and return to the cooking pan.

7. Now stir in the bean and pea cream, the reserved beans and the mint. Add as much of the reserved cooking water as you need to thin the sauce so that it lightly coats the pasta. Serve into bowls. Pass grated parmesan.

If you decide to make your own pasta, amalgamate the flour, salt and eggs in a bowl, knead until the pasta is springy and no longer sticky. Wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest in a cool place for an hour, then roll out using a pasta machine or rolling pin until the pasta is almost see-through. Roll up the pasta and cut it with a sharp knife to produce 2 cm wide noodles.

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