Let's Cook with Meg and Ted

Pasta With broad beans and ricotta

500gshelled fresh broad beans
300gorecchiette pasta
4 tablespoonsextra virgin olive oil
2 large clovesgarlic, peeled and chopped finely
100gfreshly grated parmesan or romano cheese
a big handfulbasil leaves, torn
250gfresh ricotta (see note)
freshly ground black pepper

Cook the shelled broad beans in plenty of water until just tender. Drain. Squeeze the beans from their skins, unless they're very young.

Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling water until al dente, then drain and transfer to a warm serving dish. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a frying pan and cook the garlic until softened and just starting to colour. Add the broad beans, toss until heated through, then carefully stir through the pasta with the remaining olive oil, parmesan and basil leaves. Crumble the ricotta over the top, season to taste, sprinkle with extra basil leaves if desired, and serve at once.

It's also nice if you squeeze some lemon juice over it and mix through.

Serves 6 as an entree.

If you can't get fresh fresh broad beans, you can use Logan Farm green soy beans (in the freezer section), which are really excellent, surprisingly. Another nice variation is to use instead steamed broccoli, toasted pine nuts and lemon juice.

Note: don't use that smooth ricotta you buy in plastic containers in the cheese section of Coles, that is effectively a totally different cheese. The ricotta that must be used here is the one you get from the deli (including the deli section in Coles), that is in a big firm cake, and you ask for a wedge of it of so many grams. This ricotta is firm, actually has some taste (admittedly a mild one), and can be crumbled, which is neccessary for this recipe. That prepackaged stuff won't work!!

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