To France. We plan to stop in Pisa for Cecina and then Genova to eat Le Trofie al Pesto Genovese with Matteo before hitting the Cote d’Azur on Thursday, in time for my best friends wedding. Meanwhile I’d like to leave you with this. Now it’s hardly a recipe, it’s more of an idea, an introduction really, to an ingredient that seems to be rivalling a long-standing chickpea supremacy in our kitchen: Fave secche (dried broad beans).
They need soaking back to life and then cooking, like chickpeas, gently at a happy simmer for an hour or so until they are soft and tender. Once the fave are cooked they have a distinctive flavour, nutty, creamy, rather like cannellini beans crossed with chestnuts but with a slight – but pleasing – bitter edge. You can use them to make a humus-like pureè which goes beautifully with a pile of bittersweet cicoria or as we’ve taken to doing this summer, the simplest soup. We do this by passing both the fave and their cooking water through the food mill, seasoning this pale creamy puree generously with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper, and serving it with garlic croutons and lots of raw extra virgin olive oil. Simple and just delicious.
Back at the end of next week.