Seasonal local food recipe No 105: Pasta with broad beans and beurre blanc

A Sarah Raven recipe – she uses tagliolini, but fine spaghetti or linguine would do just as well.

Preparation and cooking: about 20 minutes
Serves 4

250g broad beans, shelled weight
350g tagliolini or fine spaghetti
75g fried pancetta or prosciutto
2 tbsp finely chopped summer savory or thyme, to serve
grated parmesan, to serve

For the beurre blanc:
4 tbsp white wine
4 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 heaped tbsp finely chopped shallots
salt and black pepper
175g unsalted butter, cold and diced

To make the beurre blanc, reduce the wine, vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper in a small saucepan until you have only a tablespoon of liquid left. Whisk in the butter bit by bit over a very low heat, until thick and creamy. Season. Keep it warm in a vacuum flask or bain-marie.

Bring a pan of water to the boil. Cook the beans in it for 4 minutes. Remove them, saving some of the cooking liquid, and cool them quickly in a sieve under cold running water. Pop some of the bright green beans out of their skin by pinching with thumb and forefinger – this adds a wonderful colour. Discard the skins and puree half the beans with a tablespoon of the cooking water.

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until just al dente, leaving a tablespoon or two of the cooking liquid in the pan. Add the bean puree, pancetta or prosciutto and the beurre blanc and stir. Season carefully.

Lastly, throw in the remaining beans and stir. Serve with summer savory or thyme and grated parmesan.

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