Broad Bean and Mint Risoni with Crispy Bacon
Broad bean, mint and parmesan are a classic, delicious combination that goes really well with pasta…top it off with some crispy bacon, and you’ve got a very tasty dish!
- 3 cups broad beans podded, fresh or frozen
- 1 1/3 cups risoni or orzo pasta
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ lemon juiced
- ¾ – 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1 cup mint leaves finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3-4 free-range bacon rashers diced
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- Pour boiling water over broad beans. Stand for one minute then drain and allow to cool before popping their dull skins to reveal the bright green beans.
- While you are shelling the broad beans, cook pasta in boiling salted water (as this job takes about the same time for the pasta to cook) until al dente.
- Cook shelled broad beans in boiling salted water for 1-2 minutes, then drain. Set aside half of the broad beans whole, and mash the other half of the broad beans with the garlic and lemon juice.
- Heat a little olive oil in a fry pan and fry bacon and pine nuts until bacon is crispy, about 3-4 minutes.
- Spoon out ½ cup of the pasta cooking water and reserve, before draining the pasta. Tip drained pasta back into the pot with the reserved cooking water, mashed broad beans, whole broad beans, parmesan, mint and olive oil.
- Toss together and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- To serve, divide between bowls and sprinkle over crispy bacon and pine nuts.
Peas can be used instead of broad beans and are just as nice. I just use the bags of frozen broad beans/peas – much easier and more economical, but if you’ve got a garden with lots of fresh beans or peas, use fresh! This would make a great dish to bring to a potluck, or as part of a big spread like at Christmas time.