Bacon, Broad Beans and Orecchiete
July 26, 2006
I’ve got the culinary equivalent of the annoyingly catchy tune going round in my head at the moment. It’s like the scene from the film ‘Touching the Void’ where the climber with the broken leg is crawling half-conscious down a barren Andean mountainside. All he can hear as he nears death is Boney M’s ‘Brown Girl in the Ring’ playing over and over again in his mind.
I’ve had a similar experience recently with this idea I’ve had for a simple dish of bacon, broad beans and orecchiete (ear-shaped) pasta. It haunts my every waking moment.
My first attempt misfired after adding broad bean pod puree to the finished mix. The offending substance can be seen in the photo above – it’s the grey-green mush in the dark brown bowl.
Tonight I gave it another go in an attempt to exorcise my gastro-demons. And, hallelujah, I think I’m there. Almost.
Broad Bean, Bacon and Orecchiete
I reckon you’d want almost equal quantities of beans, bacon and pasta to get the balance of flavour and texture right.
1. Get some nice thick fatty chunks of bacon and fry ’em softly until the fat runs and they start to crisp nicely.
2. Boil some podded broad beans and, when they’re almost tender, drain them and pop them out their skins. Put the little blighters in a bowl and season well. Stir in some fresh oregano or marjoram leaves at this point, if you’re lucky enough to have some lying around.
3. Boil a big pan of water and cook the Orecchiete until al dente. If you’re in the UK, you can get this sturdy, no-nonsense pasta shape from Sainsburys. I reckon any small, stubby type of pasta would do the job.
4. Mix the pasta, beans and bacon in a bowl together, and add a couple of tablespoons of thick double cream. Stir in fresh grated parmesan and let the cream and cheese melt together and coat everything.
5. Er… yeah, that’s it. I’m still not sure about the cream. Maybe it’s too rich. Or maybe I just need to relax and move on…. Brown girl in the ring tra-la-la-la, and she looks like a sugar in a plum.