Orecchiette is a little shell shaped pasta, delicious and sourced from my newly-found Italian providore not far from our new house. It’s a delightful little shop, family run, with the most warm, friendly and helpful staff. As I stocked up with supplies I was asked what I was cooking and we discussed recipes and methods for ages.
Broad Beans are my passion of the moment, food-wise. Neglected for all of the other years of my life, we are also very fortunate to have an Italian-owned green grocery close by. So Broad Beans are there by the big box full every week, and now we grow our own also. I have fallen in love with this little green, grassy tasting fresh bean. It has been great to see the season through, from the tiny new pods, to the larger, more mature pods later in the season, and to adapt recipes as the season progresses.
Similar recipes include Orecchiette with Peas, Yoghurt and Chilli, Saffron Mograbieh Pilaf with Broad Beans, Penne with Broad Beans and Ricotta, Broad Beans with Feta and Preserved Lemon, and Broad Beans with Crispy Garlic.
Also try Capunti Pasta with Basil and Tomatoes.
Orecchiette with Broad Beans | Pasta and Broad Beans
Cook some Orecchiette according to direction in boiling water that has been well salted. Toss with young broad beans, chopped red chilli (or chilli jam) to taste, flat leaved parsley, salt and black pepper to taste, extra virgin olive oil and shaved pecorino.
recipe notes and alternatives
If the broad beans are not very young, I think they respond well to blanching before use. When the pasta is cooked, I pour some of the pasta water over the broad beans. I leave them to scald while I mix the pasta with the other ingredients, then drain the broad beans well and add to the pasta. (After scalding they are easy to peel too – pop each bean out of its tougher casing for bright green, luxuriously tasting beans).