Broad bean, goat’s cheese and (not) orecchiette
Posted on April 24, 2013
Nigel Slater has a wonderful recipe for broad bean and ricotta orecchiette that I’ve made at home (although we tweaked it to include a bucket of butter and lots of lemon juice – mint also worked). While at the local markets near Geyikbayiri last sunday I came across bags of very fresh looking broad beans – the pods already removed. So I decided to recreate the dish – camp cooking style (which is, in fact more or less the same but involves a lot more pot juggling).
Pasta (any kind will do really, if you’re not in Puglia and or have no access to a decent shop. I used penne from the donations bin)
Butter/oil (preferably both)
Cheese (we used an insanely stinky goats cheese that we had been gifted because the original owners could deal with the stink…wimps)
One burner (two would be awesome and cut down on messing about time)
One pot (again, two would be great)
Stiring thing (obviously one can use one’s knife if necessary)
Something to cut on (preferably an actual chopping board!)
Ideally one might also have two large serving bowls)
Clean hands – or at least hands with most of the grit removed and then bathed in stinging-alcohol-bug-killing stuff)
Finely chop your garlic (or mash it to an acceptably fine consistency if you have a crappy blunt knife – make a mental note to acquire a damn sharp proper chef’s knife before you go camping again). Put your pot on and boil your broad beans until they float. Take the beans out and put your pasta in to cook (if you have plenty of water and cooking gas you can obviously choose to boil fresh water).
Depending on the youth of your beans and or your inclination you might at this point double peel your beans. That is, pop the bright green bits out of the greyish shells. The meal will still be ok if you don’t do this (especially if the beans are very young – i.e. not grey when cooked). However, I strongly recommend poping the beans if they are grey. This vastly improves the texture and colour of the final product, is quite fun to do (the warm beans feel nice on sore tips) and will prevent you feeling guilt when you imagine a certain blond tasmanian standing over you shaking her head in disgust that you would serve un-double peeled broad beans.
Then drain your pasta and perform a tipping pot trick so as to melt your butter while not burning the bottom of your pasta (alternatively have a spare and large enough bowl to hand to rest your pasta in – ours were both being used for bean pealing purposes). Ideally also reserve some of the pasta water. Pop your garlic into the butter, hold the pot until the garlic is clear or your hand in burning then stir the butter through the pasta, add your beans and lemon and cheese and fold gently until everything is combined (or just shake it about if you don’t have a spoon). If it looks a little dry add some pasta water – the whole lot should look glossy and delish-bot.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.
Very easy, reasonably quick (depending on bean decision), extremely tasty, quite pretty, sort of nutritious (protein, greens, carbs and fats more or less covered).
PS – can anyone tell me if it is supposed to be ‘goat’s cheese’ or ‘goats cheese’? Surely the apostrophe is needed to indicate possession – the goat is the originator and thus possessor of the cheese? Or is she? Is the cheese hers to possess? Is this a question of more than puctuation?