All the different produce coming out with the change of season gets me quite excited. I usually buy vegetables without meals in mind, and wait for inspiration to strike. When I realised that I had asparagus, broad beans and fresh peas, I knew that I wanted to throw it all together and have a little homage to spring. As a bonus, I also had ricotta, left over from the chocolate and cherry ricotta cake. This pasta made itself, really.
I am my harshest critic when it comes to my food, but even I thought this pasta was freakin’ awesome.
Spring time orecchiette
300g dried orecchiette or other pasta
400g fresh broad beans, podded
200g fresh peas, podded
Small bunch of asparagus (around 250g)
3 rashers of bacon
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Salt & pepper
Bring a small pot of salted water to the boil, this will be for the vegetables. When boiling, add the podded broad beans and blanch for a minute. Remove with a slotted spoon into a bowl of cold water.
Return the water to the boil, and add the podded peas. Boil for 5-10 minutes .
While you’re waiting for the peas, peel the thick skin off the broad beans and set aside. It should take a few minutes to get through and by then the peas should be ready. When the peas no longer taste raw, remove them from water with a slotted spoon and add to the broad beans.
Put a pot of water on to the boil for the pasta and start cooking the pasta.
Snap the woody ends off the asparagus, and slice into 3cm lengths. Add the asparagus to the water and cook for a couple of minutes. Remove from the water and set aside with the broad beans and peas.
In a frying pan, fry the bacon to your liking. Remove and drain on paper towels, then cut into small pieces.
Wipe the frying pan with paper towels, then add and garlic on a medium-low heat. Cook gently for a few minutes, then add the vegetables and bacon and leave them on the medium-low heat to warm up, stirring occasionally.
When the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving some of the cooking water.
Tip the pasta into the pan, adding a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water. Add the ricotta, and stir it through the pasta, mashing it up a bit if necessary.
Taste, season with more salt if required, and finish off with lots of freshly ground pepper.