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Broad Beans, Crispy Bacon and Pasta au Gratin

Although time-consuming it is worth the effort to pop the broad beans out of their skins to reveal their beautiful bright green colour. The combination of broad beans, smoked bacon and parmesan makes this a very tasty lunch or supper dish. You can use unsmoked bacon if you prefer and if you do not have any parmesan, you can use cheddar cheese in its place.


300g farfalle (pasta bows)
150g smoked streaky bacon
300g broad beans
400g can chopped tomatoes, pureed in a food processor
50g parmesan, grated
50g fresh white breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 8 minutes or according to pack instructions until al dente and drain well.

2. At the same time grill the bacon for 6-8 minutes until crispy and place on kitchen paper. Chop roughly when cool enough to handle.

3. Meanwhile, cook the broad beans in boiling water (do not add salt as it toughens the skins) for 5-10 minutes depending on the size of the beans. Drain.

4. Pour the pureed tinned tomatoes into a large pan and heat through. Add the pasta, bacon and broad beans, season and mix well. Place in a heatproof serving dish, mix together the parmesan and breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the pasta.

5. Brown under a preheated grill for 2-3 minutes until golden and serve.