Broad Bean, Artichoke & Pea Stew
Broad Bean, Artichoke & Pea Stew

Broad Bean, Artichoke & Pea Stew

You have two options here to create this springtime dish. It takes a lot of patience to make it from fresh ingredients, so do split the work between friends. Alternatively, use some frozen or canned vegetables to save time. Traditionally it is made with guanciale (a cured meat made from pork cheeks) or pancetta, which is unsmoked, but the smoky background flavour of smoked bacon works well. Some people also shred a lettuce into the dish in the last five minutes of the cooking time and others leave the chilli out. Because this is a stew, the vegetables will lose their vibrant green colour, but it still tastes of spring. Eat it as a starter or main course with crusty bread.

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Total Time
1 Hour 20 Minutes
1kg of peas in the pod, or 300g of podded fresh or frozen
1kg of broad beans in the pod, or 300g of podded fresh or frozen
1kg of small artichokes (approx. 8), or 400g of frozen or tinned in brine (drained weight)
50g of smoked or unsmoked streaky bacon, pancetta or guanciale (optional)
1 white medium onion, finely chopped
1 fat garlic clove, peeled & lightly crushed
1 small dried red chilli (optional)
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
5 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
100ml of white wine
1l of hot water
1 handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 handful of mint, finely chopped
Best-quality extra-virgin olive oil, to serve
Step 1

If you are using fresh peas and broad beans still in their pods, remove them from their pods into separate bowls.

Step 2

Sweat the bacon (if using), onion, garlic, chilli and seasoning with the 5 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat for around 5 minutes until the onion is translucent.

Step 3

Pour in the wine and allow to reduce for a few minutes.

Step 4

Add the hot water and the peas.

Step 5

Cook the peas for around 30 minutes so that they lose their colour but gain sweetness.

Step 6

While the peas are cooking, in a separate pan, boil the broad beans for 3-5 minutes until just tender, then drain and put them into a bowl of cold water to cool.

Step 7

If you are using fresh broad beans, remove and discard the tough outer skin of each bean so that you are left with only the bright green centre bean. If you have used the small, young frozen ones that are tender, you shouldn’t need to shell them.

Step 8

Cook the fresh or frozen artichokes in a saucepan of boiling salted water for about 10-15 minutes until just tender.

Step 9

Remove and drain but save the cooking liquor if they were fresh. If you are using tinned artichokes, rinse them in cold water to remove the brine and then heat them in a saucepan of boiling water for 3-4 minutes before adding to the peas.

Step 10

Add the cooked broad beans and artichokes to the pan with the cooked peas, along with 300ml of artichoke water or hot water.

Step 11

Stir and cook everything together over a low heat for 30 minutes.

Step 12

Adjust the seasoning as necessary and serve scattered with the parsley, mint and a swirl of your best extra-virgin olive oil.

Recipes from Rome by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi (Hardie Grant, £18.99), Photography © Helen Cathcart

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