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Pugliese tagliatelle with fresh & dried fava beans, salted dried ricotta, parsley, mint & basil

Recipe from Nino Zoccali's cookbook, Pasta Artigiana

For those who have never heard of this dish, it is an unusual, regional, peasant-style pasta. It is very simple – and I think it is great. When making the dish, keep in mind that the dried fava bean pureé will thicken and dry very quickly once all the ingredients are combined, so it is important to serve the dish as quickly as possible once it is cooked. Feel free to increase the quantity of salted ricotta served on the dish, and you can likewise use more chilli and drizzle additional extra virgin olive oil at the end.

20 large fresh broad (fava) beans
300 g (10½ oz) dried broad (fava) beans, soaked overnight and drained
750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) vegetable broth or chicken broth (see below)
Fine sea salt, to taste
500 g (1 lb, 2 oz) good quality dried loane (or tagliatelle)
200 ml (7 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, 1 clove sliced and 1 clove finely chopped
Dried chili flakes, to taste
3 flat-leaf (Italian) parsley sprigs, finely chopped
100 g (3½ oz/1 cup) freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
150 g (5½ oz) grated ricotta salata (salted dried ricotta cheese), to serve

Pod the broad beans then blanch in a saucepan of rapidly boiling salted water, drain and refresh in iced water. Peel and set aside.

Peel the skins of the soaked dried broad beans then place in a medium-sized saucepan and cover with vegetable or chicken broth. Season with the sea salt and cook slowly for about 1 hour or until the beans begin to fall apart. Add additional water during the cooking process if required. Pass the mixture through a food mill or blend in a food processor to make a smooth puree.

Cook the pasta in abundant salted boiling water until al dente. Add the fresh broad beans to the pasta 1 minute before draining. After draining, return to the pot. Add the broad bean puree to the pasta and fresh broad beans.

In a separate saucepan, heat half of the extra virgin olive oil and add the sliced garlic. Cook for a few seconds and set aside for a minute before adding to the pasta and broad bean pureé. Add the chilli flakes, herbs, chopped garlic and remaining extra virgin olive oil. Incorporate into the pasta and broad bean puree with the freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Season with the sea salt and black pepper. Serve immediately with grated ricotta salata.

Vegetable broth

(Makes approximately 3 litres (105 fl oz/12 cups)
200 g (7 oz) parsnip, roughly chopped
200 g (7 oz) turnip, roughly chopped
300 g (10½ oz) carrot, roughly chopped
100 g (3½ oz) fennel bulb, roughly chopped
300 g (10½ oz) celery stalks, roughly chopped
200g (7 oz) leek, roughly chopped
200g (7 oz) onion, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
2 thyme sprigs
2 flat-leaf (Italian) parsley sprigs
5 black peppercorns
4 litres (140 fl oz/16 cups) water

Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and slowly simmer for 30-60 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and refrigerate. Vegetable broth can be made in advance and frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

Chicken broth
(Makes approximately 2.5 litres (87 fl oz/10 cups)

1-1.2 kg (2lb, 4 oz - 2lb,10 oz) free-range chicken or boiling hen
1 kg (2lb, 4 oz) fresh chicken bones, thoroughly washed
100g (3½ oz) carrot, roughly chopped
100g (3½ oz) celery stalks, roughly chopped
100g (3½ oz) leek, roughly chopped
100g (3½ oz) onion, roughly chopped
100g (3½ oz) Parmigiano Reggiano cheese rind
3 flat-leaf (Italian) parsley sprigs
4 litres (140 fl oz/16 cups) water
fine sea salt, to taste


Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer without a lid for 2½  to 3 hours. Skim away the excess fat and other particles that come to the surface of the liquid throughout the cooking process. Remove the chicken, shred the meat from the bones (discard the skin and bones), strain the liquid through a fine strainer and refrigerate. If there is excess fat, it will solidify at the top of the refrigerated broth. Remove this with a spoon before using the broth. The cooked chicken can be used in other recipes. Chicken broth can be made in advance and frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

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