Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bean there, ate that

It's been an interesting couple of weeks here in Sicily. I was lucky enough to be introduced to some great people in Palermo, including Davide (who took me to the place on the left this past Saturday for a party - imagine hundreds of people dancing in this funky looking piazza - and introduced me to stigghiole), the two English Davids, the Canadians - Frank, Sabrina and Nick, some Germans, Estonians, Welsh, Polish, Philippinos - I hope I'm not leaving anybody out.

Of course, I really wish that Angela was here to meet all of these people with me and share these experiences. I know that everyone would love her and it would be a lot more fun. January and February flew by, and I'm hoping that March goes by quickly. I mean, how long can I be expected to go without my special lady???

I haven't been doing a ton of cooking lately, mostly simple stuff, but tonight I decided I was going to finally make something with fava beans, especially since they've been looking so good at the produce stand a couple of blocks away (they've been piled up in huge mounds outside everyday for awhile - the beans must be good, because by the time I come home every night, they are practically gone!). I removed the beans from their pods over lunch (is there a word for this? My brain is on lockdown - I want to say de-podded, but not only is that completely wrong, it makes me sound like a moron). I went into tonight without much of a plan, except that I knew I wanted to use the pecorino sardo I bought today at the new market in town, plus some lightly fried garlic. Cheese and beans wasn't going to be enough, so I made some pasta to go along with everything. When the pasta was done, I blanched the beans in the pasta water for a few minutes while I heated up the garlic in a little bit of olive oil. I minced some huge parsley leaves, set that aside and then dumped the fava beans in an ice bath. I pinched the beans out of their protective sacs and quickly tossed them in with the still-warm pasta. On top of that went the cubed pecorino cheese, then the minced fried garlic, the parsley, a heavy pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper and finally a healthy drizzle of my friend Nunzio's olive oil.

Ultimately, everything came out great, although next time I think I'll use a firmer pecorino and shave the cheese over the plate at the end, instead of using a softer cheese and cubing. Also, I wonder if roasting the garlic would be a better idea - the fave are sweet and nutty; while the garlic was a nice contrast, I wonder if frying it made it too pungent. Maybe roasting would keep some of the contrast but also allow the sweetness in the garlic to pair up nicely with the fave? Any thoughts 5 followers???

And no offense Davide, but this was much, much better than lamb intestines in the middle of the night (although my friend tells me that if you find the right place for stigghiole, they melt in your mouth like butter...).

1 comment:

  1. Yes, roasted garlic next time! Sounds soo good. Sorry I'm missing those beans right now!