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Wednesday 2 July 2014

Sluttishly Savoury: Lemon, Garlic & Broad Bean Pasta

I was never all that keen on broad beans growing up, but now I can't get enough of them. Happily, they're in season - but this recipe works just as well with tinned beans, so we can enjoy it at any time.

This is basically summer in a bowl. I've used yoghurt in place of heavy cream, which adds a lovely tartness to proceedings. You could actually skip the yoghurt completely, if you don't have any around - I'd just keep some of the cooking liquid aside and chuck that in instead, to loosen everything up.

If uncooked garlic makes you run for the hills, give it a quick swish about in a pan with a little oil before adding to the pasta. I happen to love raw garlic, and I hear it's good for keeping away vampires. And pretty much EVERYONE. At least you'll be able to eat your delicious pasta uninterrupted.

Lemon, Garlic & Broad Bean Pasta (serves 4)
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes

You will need:
  • 400g pasta (I used linguine)
  • 300g shelled broad beans, tinned or fresh
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 4-8 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Loads of fresh parmesan or grana padano
  • A small handful of fresh mint or parsley, finely chopped (optional)
Make it!
  1. Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water, as per the packet instructions.
  2. If you're using fresh broad beans, boil them in a separate pan of unsalted water for about 5 minutes (I find salt makes them tough). You may want to 'double-pod' them, by plunging the cooked beans into a bowl of cold water and using your fingernail to pop off the skin of each one. Beans picked young probably won't need to be double-podded, but removing the skins of older beans makes them sweeter and tastier. And if you're using tinned, just throw them into the pasta water about 2 minutes before the pasta is cooked.
  3. Drain the pasta and beans, and mix together in the pan. Add the garlic, lemon zest, and as much yoghurt as you want - this really depends on how saucy you like your pasta. You may find the heat of the pasta is enough to warm through the yoghurty sauce; if not, place the pan over a low heat and stir well until it's warm (be careful - the yoghurt will curdle over a high heat).
  4. Stir well and season to taste. Serve with masses of cheese folded through the pasta and grated on top. I would have also finished with a liberal sprinkling of parsley or mint, if I'd had some.
  • Some fried bacon cubes or diced chorizo would be a great addition to this dish - just add them at step 3. 

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