Broad Bean and Sage Pasta


Peel broad beans, fresh from the garden, or use frozen broad beans. Blanch beans in boiling water for 90 seconds and refresh in cold water. ‘Double peel’ beans, i.e. remove the tough skin from each bean, so that you are left with the tender, vibrantly green heart of the broad bean. You will need about 150 g of these double peeled beans per person.

Use fresh shop-bought pasta or make your own. I prefer egg-free pasta. Per Portion knead 100 g of hard wheat semolina with 1 tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt. Add about 10 ml of water. Sometimes it needs a bit less, sometimes a bit more – it really depends on the humidity and temperature of the day. Only add small amounts at a time, the dough should be fairly tough. At the beginning it looks like it will never come together but after about 10 minutes of kneading it always does. Let the dough rest covered for 30 minutes at room temperature and then roll it out and cut it into strips.

In a pan melt a heaped tablespoon of butter per portion. Fry 10 (or as much as you like) sage leaves in the butter until they stop sizzling. Take the crispy sage leaves out of the pan and drain them on a paper towel.

If necessary add a bit more butter to the pan and let it turn brown. Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling, salted water for 1 or two minutes or until al dente. While cooking the pasta add 2 tbsp of the cooking water to the pan. This turns the butter into a sauce, no need for salt, because the pasta water is already salty. Add the beans to the pan to heat them trough.

Drain the pasta and stir it through the brown butter sauce, season with black pepper.

Serve pasta on deep plates and top with shaved parmesan and crispy sage leaves.

You can add 3 very thin slices of lardo di colonnata if you fancy a more ‘meaty’ flavour.

It looks really beautiful if you sprinkle some sage flowers over the dish, when they are available in Spring.