spring spaghetti with pesto, broad beans and crispy bacon

by Sam on November 12, 2012

This is a delightfully fresh pasta that’s perfect for Spring. It celebrates the five ingredients that make up the recipe, allowing them all to shine.

Spaghetti + pesto + broad beans + crispy bacon + Parmesan = heaven

Of course you can use any pasta of your choice, but I like whole wheat long pasta noodles like linguine or spaghetti for this. The whole wheat makes it slightly healthier, and I have grown to love the slightly nutty flavour and firmer texture of it.

The trickiest part to this is double shelling the broad / fava beans. It’s a bit time-consuming, but in my opinion worth the labour for this stunning vegetable that is in season now. I bought a kilogram of beans at the Stellenbosh Slow Market last week from a farmer from Greyton and paid R30 (3$) for a kilo. You could buy them already shelled, but be prepared for a much higher price tag.

To shell the beans, remove them from their outer hard pods. Bring a pot of water to the boil and dunk the beans in the water and boil for one minute. Remove them with a slotted spoon and refresh in cold water. Rip the white skin slightly and then pop the emerald-green beans out. To cook them, simply blanch them in the same hot water for about 3 minutes until they are just cooked. Similar to asparagus and fresh peas, broad beans need the shortest cooking time.

An alternative is to gently fry them in butter for a few minutes.

Cook your desired quantity of pasta until it is perfectly al dente. Drain and reserve a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid which helps the viscosity when you stir through generous spoons of pesto. Toss your cooked broad beans through the pesto pasta and top with crispy bacon and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. I kilogram of beans will yield about 1 1/4  – 1 1/2 cups of beans.

broad beans, fava beans

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

suzanne Perazzini November 13, 2012 at 9:00 am

I love this. You make it look so good. My husband loves broad beans and would eat them all day if he could.

Sam November 13, 2012 at 11:33 am

Hey Suzanne, broad beans are the business. can you get them shelled in NZ, or do you have to do the double shelling story?

Suzanne Perazzini November 14, 2012 at 12:36 am

Double shelling all the way. I leave him to it.

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