Spaghetti with Broad Beans, Bread Crumbs and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
The title of this post doesn't only refer to the ingredients I used to make it- but also to a reminiscence I have of Saturday lunchtimes in Sicily, when I would carry the groceries home from the market, and my mom would have prepared a simple dish like this. It would always be something simple on a Saturday as we would be busy shopping for groceries and then putting them away... any other day of the week mamma would have had more time!
This is a classic of Sicilian cookery- the combination of tender green (broad) beans and tangy sun-dried tomatoes is nothing short of delicious- and in combination with the Sicilian mainstay of toasted bread crumbs, it becomes nothing short of sublime...
You really can't get any easier or more convenient... I am talking about 10 minutes cooking time at the most here! To make this dish, I started off by getting the spaghetti boiling in the usual manner, in well-salted water. Whilst the water came up to the boil, I began to brown-off some bread crumbs with a little olive oil, finely chopped parsley, a little grated parmesan and some pepper. As soon as the crumbs were golden brown I set them to one side to cool.
In the meantime, the pasta had been boiling for 4-5 minutes. I quickly popped oven the beans, pinched away the tough, outer skin and popped the fresh, young beans into the pasta water, so that they would boil with the pasta for the final 3 minutes or so.
Whilst the pasta was nearing completion, I heated a little olive oil and added a handful of finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, some finely chopped garlic and a few flakes of chili. I then drained the pasta, though not too thoroughly and transferred it to the pan, with the tomatoes and garlic oil. I stirred everything together well and let it simmer for a minute or two for all of the flavors to combine nicely... and then I served it up with a touch of nutmeg, some salt, pepper and the toasted bread crumbs, a hint of grated salted ricotta cheese and a light drizzle of olive oil... delicious! Tastes like Spring time... I just wish it would get here a little more quickly!