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Entries in pancetta (1)

Thursday
Sep292011

Fettuccine with Butter Beans and Pancetta

 

Oh, how I love fresh butter beans, or lima beans, or baby lima beans.  The Southern culinary jury seems to be in slight disagreement as to what makes a baby lima bean a butter bean and a butter bean a lima bean.  Some say it’s the way you cook the bean that makes it buttery.  Others say it’s an interchangeable term.  Either way I don’t particularly care, in fact, they’re called runner beans in the UK just to add to the confusion.  Thing is, they’re good when they’re fresh and these were fresh.  I picked them up from a wonderful roadside farmer’s market in Cayce, SC.  I decided to take the traditional idea of cooking them with a ham hock, but dressed it up using pancetta and turned it into a main course rather than a side dish (just forget the pasta and turn it back into a side dish if you want!).  And for the record, I think the taste of the bean is decidedly buttery so in my book, that’s why they’re called butter beans!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 lb fresh butter beans, shelled and picked through

1 lb fettuccini

2 large shallots, sliced thin

32 oz chicken stock

4oz diced pancetta

8 oz Parmesan cheese, grated

3 tablespoons flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped

Red pepper flakes

Grated peel of 1 lemon

Olive oil

Cook beans and half the shallots in stock over medium heat in a large saucepan for 15-20 minutes until tender (not mushy) in side.  Drain beans and reserve cooking liquid, set aside.  In the same saucepan, sauté pancetta and remaining shallots, and red pepper flakes in a little olive oil until the pancetta is crispy.  Using a slotted spoon, remove and set aside.  Return cooking liquid to pan, bring to boil add fettuccini and cook until al dente. Lower head, add beans and pancetta – heat through, sprinkle cheese, parsley and lemon peel over pasta, stir to combine and serve.