Thomasina Miers Broad Bean Puttanesca Recipe | Pasta

I first made puttanesca after reading the recipe in a Nigelle book. His introduction was so captivating that I did it the very next day. The sauce traditionally uses pantry items, so my twist with new season beans and fresh tomatoes adds an almost blasphemous element to the mix. But the ingredients come together beautifully in this simple and delicious mid-week solution.

Broad bean puttanesca

You can use frozen beans instead of fresh – either way, it’s worth doubling them up, if you have the time.

Preparation 20 mins
To cook 20 mins
Serves 4

3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large white onion
peeled and thinly sliced
A pinch of salt
3 cloves of garlicpeeled and finely chopped
1-2 teaspoons dried chili flakes
to taste
6 canned anchovy filletsdrained and chopped
350g cherry tomatoeshalved
75g pitted black olivesstoned and cut in half
75g of capersdrained
400g broad beansshelled (or peas)
300g dried spaghetti
1 small handful chopped parsley
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
to serve

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion, season with salt and sauté for about seven to eight minutes, until tender. Add the garlic, chili flakes and anchovies, and cook for a few more minutes while you break up the anchovies with the back of a wooden spoon. Add tomatoes, olives and capers and simmer gently.

Meanwhile, put a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Blanch the beans (or peas) in this water for a few minutes, then remove them with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a small bowl. Now add the pasta to the pot of water and cook until al dente, which should be one to two minutes less than the package directions tell you. While cooking, remove the outer skin from the beans, then pour the beans into the tomato sauce. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and reserve half a cup of cooking water.

Add the pasta and most of the chopped parsley to the sauce, stir for a minute, then loosen with a little cooking water as the pasta absorbs the liquid from the sauce. Divide the pasta among four bowls, garnish each serving with a little more parsley and serve with grated parmesan.

The simple flex

For a vegan version, omit the anchovies from the sauce and sprinkle the finished dish with toasted garlic breadcrumbs in olive oil in place of the Parmesan.