Love was definitely in the air on Saturday night in our house when we had a fabulous valentines themed night. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than planning, preparing and eating the fruits of my labour but I especially love sharing it with great friends. I was cooking for carnivores and herbivores so I had a beautiful shoulder of pork from Olde Farm and a broad bean gratin for the mains. I came across the recipe in Neven Maguires latest book "Home Chef" which if you haven't already got you should most definitely buy! Both mains were equally delicious and all of us went back for seconds. I had never had broad beans before and they brought a lovely fresh flavour to the dish. I prepared it early in the day and just put it into the oven for thirty minutes when my guests arrived. Perfect dinner party food!
750g fresh/frozen broad beans
350g penne pasta
300ml white wine
300ml double cream
250g mascarpone cheese
2 egg yolks
2tbsp snipped chives
2tbsp basil leaves
25g Parmesan cheese
75g pecorino cheese
Salt and pepper
Cook the broad beans in boiling water until tender. Drain and refresh under cold water before slipping them out of their skins. I was amazed at the gorgeous vibrant colour under there!
Cook the pasta until al dente and drain.
Heat the white wine until reduced to 2 tablespoons.
Add the cream and bring to the boil.
Season well and turn down heat until reduced and thickened. Cool slightly.
Fold the broad beans and cream through the pasta and tip into a ovenproof dish.
Beat together the mascarpone, egg yolks, chives and basil in a bowl with the two cheeses. Spoon this mixture on top of pasta and smooth over to edges using the back of the spoon.
Cook in a preheated oven at about 180 degrees until golden and bubbling.
This is a great vegetarian main and one that I will definitely make again. It would make a lovely summer lunch just served with a light salad and some crusty bread. It reheated very nicely and I had some with roasties and soda bread for dinner yesterday. Carbohydrate overload but worth the calories!