TAGLIOLINI WITH PESTO AND BROAD BEANS. Umbrians love broad beans, fave. As soon as it’s spring, crates of the long green pods start to appear in markets and shops. Those who are lucky enough to have a vegetable garden will pick the young and tender ones and give bagfuls to their neighbors as a gift. The fave are eaten fresh, just out of the pod, often accompanied by a slice of young pecorino cheese.
Spring basil is tender and flavorful enough to make pesto alla genovese, that is the real pesto with basil and pine nuts (pignoli). Summer basil is of course much better for the pesto but then the fave are finished!
- 200 gr (7 ounces) dry egg tagliolini (very narrow fettuccine)
- 1 cup broad beans (yields 6 tablespoon shelled broad beans)
- 1 garlic clove very finely minced
- grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
For pesto alla genovese:
- 1 bunch of fresh basil leaves, about 4 tablespoon
- 2 tablespoon pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon EVO oil
Blanch broad beans in boiling hot water for 5 min or until some of the skins start to split. Drain and refresh under cold water. Remove shells. This will take some time but brings the dish from ordinary to quite amazing. Reserve.
To make the pesto I just blitz all ingredients in a bowl using an immersion blender. If you are a purist however, please make it with mortar and pestle. Make sure to make the pesto at the last possible moment before using it in the sauce. This way the pesto does not oxidize and as a consequence all flavor is retained. While making the pesto, cook the tagliolini in plenty salted boiling water according to package instructions.
In a pan large enough to hold all the pasta, saute garlic in olive oil until fragrant, about 30 sec. Add broad beans and cook briefly to infuse them in the garlic oil. Take off the heat and add 2 tablespoon pesto.
Drain the pasta reserving 1/3 cup pasta water. Transfer the pasta in the pan that holds the sauce on high heat. Add some pasta water and quickly stir so that the sauce is partly absorbed by the pasta. Serve immediately with grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese.