Rigatoni with fresh broad beans and seasonal vegetables


‘a fresh pasta dish using broad beans, asparagus and seasonal vegetables.  It also makes an excellent pasta salad’

You willl need:

300g rigatoni
1 onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh mixed herbs
a pinch of dried mixed herbs
1 tablespoon lemon zest
150g fresh broad beans
12 asparagus
75g mushrooms
75g fresh spinach leaves
2 kale leaves, steamed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup mascarpone
1/2 cup yoghurt
Salt and pepper
a pinch of stevia
Pecorino cheese to serve

Prepare the vegetables by peeling the broad beans and keep aside.

Steam the asparagus and roughly tear up the spinach leaves.

Chop the fresh herbs finely and keep aside.

In a large pan saute the onion on low heat in a tablespoon of olive oil

Cook on gentle heat and add the dried herbs.  Slice the mushrooms and cook with the onions on gentle heat.

Use a hand blender to mix the yoghurt, mascarpone.  Season with salt and pepper and add a pinch of stevia. Blend to a smooth paste.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.  Drain the pasta and keep aside a cup of pasta water.

Add the pasta to the pan with the onions and mushrooms.  Stir and add 4 tablespoons of the pasta water.  After 2 minutes add the blended mix of yoghurt and mascarpone.  Stir into the pasta on gentle heat and if the mixture is too thick, add some more pasta water, a little at a time.  Add the spinach leaves, half the asparagus, half the broad beans and half the fresh herbs.  Cook for another few minutes then remove from the heat.  Mix in the rest of the raw spinach and gently mix in.  Place the pasta on a serving dish and then arrange the remaining vegetables and steamed kale leaves on top of the pasta and garnish with the rest of the fresh herbs and spinach.  Season with salt and pepper again and serve with grated pecorino cheese.

Trade Enquiries:
Olio Costa D’Oro Olive OIl by J Calleja Ltd

I use fresh vegetables and herbs by Big Fresh Mosta


Smoked Tomato Soup with fresh broad beans and shredded chicken

tomato soup with broad beans 1.jpg

Smoked Tomato and fresh broad bean soup with shredded chicken.  Photography CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show

‘a wholesome soup making the most of local seasonal ingredients and flavours of a Mediterranean Spring.  This is a gluten free, low fat, lactose free and diabetic friendly recipe.  For a vegan option leave out the chicken’

You will need:

1 tablespoon olive oil and extra to drizzle before serving
1 large white onion
2 red bell peppers
1/2 fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
a pinch of cumin powder
a pinch of dried marjoram and a pinch of dried basil
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 large tomatoes
200g cherry tomatoes
12 broad bean pods, peeled
1 natural stock cube
1/2 cooked chicken breast per portion [optional, leave out for vegan dish]
handful chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs [I used fresh marjoram, mint and basil]
juice of half a lime
1/4 teaspoon grated lime zest

Preheat the oven to 220C.

Start by halving the large tomatoes and placing them on an ovenproof dish. Brush some olive oil. Season with salt and scatter some fresh marjoram leaves. On the same dish place one of the red bell peppers. Roast in a hot oven for 25-30 minutes until the edges of the tomatoes become charred. The skin of the red pepper will also become quite charred and caramelized.

Place the roasted red pepper in a plastic bag and tie it up. Allow the red pepper to cool completely then chop up.

Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat and cook the roughly chopped onion and fresh garlic. Stir and do not allow to brown. Chop one of the red peppers and add to the pot. Then add the dried herbs and paprika, stir and then add the stock cube. Stir in the canned tomatoes with the liquid, top up with water just to barely cover the vegetables and bring to a boil. Chop the cherry tomatoes with skin on, add them to the pot and reduce the heat, add the lime juice and simmer for 15 minutes uncovered. Taste and season if necessary.

Remove from the heat and add half the roasted peopper and one of the large roasted tomatoes to the pot.

Use a hand held blender and pulse a few times to retain the texture.

Peel the fresh broad beans and add half of them to the pot and stir. Add the lime zest and stir again.

Cut the chicken up into pieces if you are using it. Chop the parsley and fresh herbs.

Ladle the soup into a large serving bowl and top with fresh herbs, the rest of the broad beans, the remaining roasted tomato and half the roasted pepper and chicken. Drizzle some olive oil and serve immediately.

Trade Enquiries: Costa D’Oro Olive oil is available from J Calleja Ltd

Lea’s Good Food Everyday is available in most bookshops and via Midsea Books

I use fresh vegetables and herbs by Big Fresh in Mosta, dried herbs and spices by Good Earth, tableware by Loft and kitchenware by Tescoma.