Green and Broad Bean Pasta

Broad Beans and Spring Greens Pasta, with peppery Cumberland sausages

Broad Bean and Spring Green Pasta

With leftover Spring greens to use a large pack of one of my favourite veg, fresh broad beans that are only ever for sale here during late summer, was eagerly bought. Unlike podding peas that can become a chore I love the feel of ripping open these pods that are luxuriously soft inside, revealing differing sized beans, firm to the touch and with hues that are so very pale green. Until they’re blanched and skinned – then they suddenly show off their true colour, that of a lurid green that screams more akin to shades of neon. Just shades off.

Never fazed with buying such a large pack, and certainly never bemoaning that, in reality, I’m left with just enough for two almost verging on precious portions, those deliberate culinary procedures, those necessary steps undertaken and in doing so revel in unveiling their inner glaring beauty, always culminates in one simplistic realisation – after all that I never quite know what to do with them.

During other, sometimes long and arduous, months of the year small cans of them are bought and invariably chucked into a pan with chunks of tuna, pasta and some garlic infused cream. For those evenings when comfort is needed without much fuss. Their flavour, and colour, pale evocations of summers past.

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Come summer I long for these like those that long for asparagus or peas. Or the first crop of strawberries disappointingly delivering shades of reds that seldom meet to their very core. These beans, on the other hand, never disappoint. Subtlety is their flavour. And less sweet than most other veg that hang, hidden, in pods. This time, and it’s about time, I wondered of mushy peas – something that never normally springs to mind. Marrowfat peas that I never have during summer. Mint? Why, I’ve never understood the fascination with any form of minted peas. Parsley. Curly leaf and coarsely chopped to deliver a crisp note. And chilli, green yet pungent. And chicken stock. There, that should do it.

Broad Beans and Spring Greens Pasta

INGREDIENTS:

  • olive oil
  • 1 x onion, halved, peeled, trimmed, sliced thinly (from the root end toward the stem) with the root end then cut off and discarded
  • 1 x 500g (17.64 oz) pack broad beans in pods, podded, blanched and peeled
  • 4 – 6 x Cumberland sausages, skinned
  • 1 x bunch Spring greens, heart only used, rinsed and shredded
  • 3 – 4 x organic garlic cloves, peeled and chopped into small dice
  • ¼ x teaspoon red pepper flakes, more to personal taste
  • about 150ml (5.072 fl oz) x double (heavy) cream, less or more to personal taste (can be subbed with Crème fraîche)
  • cooked pasta, of choice
  • cooking liquor, from the cooked pasta
  • seasoning, both freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Put a large heavy-based saucepan on electric heat No 3 (out of 6). When hot pour in a good glug of oil and add the onions. Clamp on a lid and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to No 2 and continue to cook until they turn pale golden in colour. By that stage push them to the sides of pan and add the garlic with another glug of oil if necessary. Cook the garlic for only a minute or two, stir through to combine and then take the pan off heat as the garlic shouldn’t be allowed to scorch.
  • Whilst podding the broad beans put a large saucepan on heat No 4 with plenty of lightly salted cold water. Bring to a rolling broil, carefully add the beans, bring back to a boil and simmer for only 2 minutes. Take off heat, strain through a metal colander, get them back into the saucepan and fill it with cold running water until beans are absolutely cold. They can be drained and frozen at this stage. Otherwise, remove the skins of the beans by holding each one with the inner curve between your thumb and finger, with your other thumb pinch the outer curve slightly to create a gash, then simply plop the bean out of its skin by gently squeezing it. Once peeled set aside.
  • For the sausages slice them lengthways through their skin and peel those off and discard. Put a heavy-based pan on heat No 3 with a little oil. When hot add the sausages and pan-fry until nicely golden. The meat can be cut up within the pan into small chunks. I allowed them to cook, then used a fish slice to chop them into small pieces and larger chunks just to have differing textures.
  • When the onions and garlic are cooked sprinkle over the red pepper flakes and stir through. Add the prepped Spring greens and put back on heat No 2 with a lid. The greens should only take about 5 minutes or so to cook through. The cream by this stage can be added at any time.
  • Meanwhile, cook your pasta. When it’s nearly ready, and before it’s drained, reserve some of the cooking liquor and set aside.
  • Several minutes before you’re ready to serve add a little of the cooking liquor to the onions and cream, up the heat if necessary to reduce slightly, and add the skinned beans along with the pan-fried sausages. The beans should only take a couple of minutes to heat through. The creamy sauce should really be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon rather than being wet. Either add the cooked and drained pasta to the onion and bean mixture or vice versa.

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Kitschnflavours:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny Hepburn

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30 comments

  1. Apart from the recipe, I also like the photos – somehow they look like an old Dutch painting, colourwise. Very nice. I also like how you captured the structure of the Spring greens!

    • The recipe itself couldn’t be much simpler. Nice, though. Perhaps even better with pancetta. Would definitely cook skinless sausages again, even if I hardly ever eat them. In colder months, maybe.
      - Yes, had wanted to showcase the greens as something other than cattle feed. They’re not the most attractive vegetable around.
      - Shame the theme I’m using doesn’t do slideshows as this post looks a bit of a mess. Still, this is a first in that I ended up with more than two photos :)

  2. Your photos are great. And your ideas too as usual.. are you going to make mushy peas soon? That always fascinated me when I was in the UK, calling a dish directly with the name of “mushy”.

    • Isn’t it funny? Mushy is so not a good selling point! I’m not overly keen on them, especially with fish and chips. Just don’t see the reasoning behind that, at all. Yes, if I can buy in more fresh broad beans and dried marrowfat peas I would like to try them out together. Especially as the lurid greens of the broad beans are perfect as a sort of lumpy dip – well, that’s one of the selling points of mushy peas! Lumpy and mushy, sheeeze :) Wondering why they’re not more popular…

      • To tell you the truth I don’t think I ever ended up trying the famous “mushy peas”, and exactly because of such bad marketing with that name. Don’t worry, I did have fish and chips though.
        Maybe if you make them they might become more popular, haha….

        • Hah! Too funny! What is funny – or odd – is that mushy peas are for sale in every supermarket and corner shop. Who buys ‘em?? It sure isn’t me. You want, I could send you some??
          - The other funny thing is, fish and chips are Italian, apparently. Those and chicken tikka masala are two of the most popular foods in the UK. Sighs, there’s no chance of me making mushy peas popular!

  3. Hey Johnny, so glad to see you back. Your photo’s are so beautiful and the pasta dish is wonderful. I too love broad beans. Have to look up Cumberland sausage, the dish sounds delicious!

    • Always so nice to hear from you! Perhaps you’ve been away as this is my third post recently. Isn’t it? Hmm, slept in badly today as I’ve ongoing toothache right now. Have to double-check all.
      - Any type of fresh Italian spicy sausage would be a perfect sub. Cumberland are very peppery, as in black pepper, and the only fresh and spicy sausage I can get my hands on. This is the first time for me to try using skinless sausages this way and I’m quietly impressed. Would definitely make it again.

      • I have been MIA because I am overwhelmed with work. I actually have today off and am catching up on my favorite blog posts today, have been working until the wee hours of the morning without a day off for the past two weeks. Today I can breathe and I am so happy to read your posts, Love the tomato tart!

    • Thanks.
      - Hold on, you’re just back from several weeks of summer in Europe! Guessing you’re like me in longing for winter to be over and truly done with. And I wish more UK summer’s were as beautiful as this one has been, so far :)

  4. Interesting recipe and the photographs and compositions are very eyecatching and captivating.

    • I guess it is. I would probably make this more so during colder months. Partly as that’s usually when I would crave sausages more often. And thank you re photos. I just never spend the time photographing veg! Must do so more often. Even if it means buying in extra, as I’m normally so hungry I spend more time cooking than anything else.

  5. This is a gorgeous pasta dish Johnny. I love the fact that you’ve added Cumberlands, garlic and red chilli to the vibrant broad beans… definitely a perfect flavour combination in my book! As others have commented, I do like the ‘noir’ photo shoot. The greens work brilliantly against the backdrop.

    • It’s a very simple dish for those dindins I can’t be bothered with :) Very delicious, though. Hmm, may have to sub using so much double cream!
      - Thanks, re ‘noir’. Really must try and take more photos of the actual veg/legumes I’m so often using. I tend to be so hungry most of my energy goes into the cooking off.

    • Thank you. Yes, I’m loving all of the summer veg, too. And I’m trying to make the most of all of the differing fruit and veg on offer right now. Makes such a difference to my diet, besides anything else.

  6. This is a perfectly put together pasta sauce with the sausages, garlic, broad beans…and cream! Lovely. I am trying to make out what type of spring greens you are using. It looks of the hearty sort..like a cabbage? I appreciate how you did not top with shredded cheese, I need to rethink my habit of doing so. Your photographs are gorgeous Johnny. Like a painting that really draws you in.

    • I couldn’t really get much info on Spring greens, to be honest. And there was no botanical name on the pack. According to Wiki it’s Brassica oleracea, Cultivar group Acephala Group. That still doesn’t make much sense :) Ah, this link is quite a good image: http://www.rivieraproduce.eu/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/image_riviera_spring_greens.jpg
      Hope that helps. Spring greens seem to be a reference to other types of leaves of swede and turnip, besides other stuff. That doesn’t exactly help either.
      - I’ve ran out of Grana Padano. My favourite that I could buy locally is no longer for sale. Besides, with a lot of differing pastas I never use cheese. Especially with the amount of double (heavy) cream I ended up using in this dish. Might as well slather on loads of butter and croak!
      Thanks, re ‘like a painting’. If only I could paint :)

  7. Hi there, just popped over to let you know that your link to Food on Friday: Mustard was featured in my Need Some Inspiration? Series today. Cheers

    • Thank you for that! You might’ve noticed that I always end up using my old Blogger handle as I never seem to be able to use this, as in WP, to leave a comment with.
      - Have added your blog to Bloglovin’ as well.

  8. Love your description of the broad beans. Looks kind of fun to peel. I mostly see the frozen ones in the markets where I live. Those sausages look like a great compliment to the beans and greens.

    • I’m guessing most people took the summary too seriously. I was chuckling most of the time with glee. Just love being highly pretentious, some of the time!
      - Yes, the very peppery sausages worked an absolute treat!


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