We’re getting a steady crop of broad beans from our veg patch at the moment, along with peas, sugar snaps and courgettes. The cucumbers don’t look far off from picking either; it’s the first year we’ve tried growing them from seed and they’re proving much easier than I thought they would. Those are famous last words of course. They’ll probably develop some nasty disease now I’ve said that and get completely wiped out. Let’s hope not.
The children are really enjoying all the homegrown vegetables. When they’ve been involved in the sowing and the planting, they seem so much more up for the eating too. They’re loving the broad beans in salads, particularly potato salads with big chunks of sausage, and in soups. As they’re both big pasta fans, it was only a matter of time before I tried broad beans in a pasta sauce. I mashed some up with mascarpone cheese, thyme and lemon juice to coat fusilli and the girls gobbled it up greedily. My husband Jason was rather keen too and even ate the leftover cheesy-beany mash cold from the fridge! Note to self: try it as a sandwich filling next time…
Fusilli with broad beans, mascarpone and thyme
1kg broad beans, podded
250g mascarpone cheese
juice of half a lemon
handful of fresh thyme, picked
salt and pepper
500g dried fusilli
Quickly boil the broad beans in salted water for two to three minutes until just tender. Run under cold water to stop them cooking further and to cool them down a little before double-podding. Yes, it’s a bit of a faff but it’s well worth it. Then mash the beans roughly, using either a fork or a potato masher.
In a bowl, mix the mashed beans with the mascarpone, lemon juice, most of the thyme, a good amount of salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
Cook the fusilli in a large pan of salted water according to the packet instructions. Drain and mix with the broad bean and mascarpone mixture. Add a little olive oil if it seems a little too dry or thick.
Serve with a little more thyme sprinkled on top. Summer on a plate – delicious.
And as this dish features lovely fresh thyme, I’m entering it into this month’s Cooking with Herbs event hosted by Karen over at Lavender & Lovage.