Thrifty Salmon at his best…
Fave alla romana / Broad beans with pancetta
Having long dreamed of growing his own vegetables (with mixed results, it has to be said), no way was Salmon going to blow this year’s precious crop – all four pods, that is – in one go. The thrifty cook, in his view, should be able to produce at least two good meals with those: quality, not quantity.
Trota accepted the situation almost without comment…and then headed straight to the supermarket to supplement this meagre offering. In fact, this recipe calls for at least 350–400g of fresh broad beans (shelled weight, of course). You will also need 65g of pancetta, a French shallot and ½ glass of white wine.
Start by warming a couple of tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan and gently fry the shallot, which you have previously finely sliced. When the shallot starts turning golden add the pancetta (cubed) and gently fry for 2–3min. Add the broad beans, mix well and cook for a further 1–2min then add the wine and allow to evaporate.
Add 100ml water, season, cover the pan and simmer for 15–20min until the beans are tender, adding more water along the way if necessary.
Voila! What a delicious earthy treat, accompanied by good quality bread, for Salmon, returned after a long day at the plot, clearing, plowing, sowing and rotavating (not exactly in that order); to be presented with this heart-warming dish would surely impress anyone.
Of course, Trota couldn’t come clean about the supermarket and interrupt Salmon’s idyll. But what was she supposed to do with a grand total of nine beans, from two pods? Let’s just keep this as a little secret among ourselves. Not quite there yet with the self-sufficiency, Mr Rowe, but do keep going… quality AND quantity!
PS: it might not have been a bumper year for their broad beans, but the Rowes certainly compensated with pomegranates.