Broad bean bonanza!

Try my Broad Bean and Chicken Pasta – ready in minutes and full of flavour.

Spend a bit of time double podding your broad beans – it’s worth it to reveal the gorgeous bright green colour of the beans which is hidden by the tough bitter silvery skins.Remove the beans from the outer pod  and plunge the beans into boiling water for just a minute then drain and plunge into cold water. Drain again then remove the skins from the beans. This is really easy and quite therapeutic! Just nip the skin with your fingers  and squeeze the bean out.

Broad Bean and Chicken Pasta

Serves 2 Takes about 20 minutes

Approx 100g double podded broad beans

Small glug of oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

50g pancetta

2 chicken breasts, skinned and cut into thin strips

75g mushrooms, sliced or whole if button

2 good tablespoons  crème fraiche

75ml reserved pasta water

Juice of half a small lemon

3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Good handful chopped parsley

Fresh or dried pasta for 2


  •  Heat the oil in a frying pan then add the pancetta and fry until crispy and golden brown. Remove and put to one side then add the onion and garlic and fry gently until softened. Add the chicken to the pan and fry until cooked through. Finally add the mushrooms to the pan and fry for 3 or 4 minutes.
  • Put the pasta into boiling water and cook according to the instructions. Add the beans for the last 3- 4 minutes of cooking time. Drain, reserving about 75ml of the water then return to the pan whilst you finish off the chicken.
  • Return the pancetta to the pan and stir in the crème fraiche. Squeeze in the lemon juice to taste and add in half the reserved pasta water. Stir well to combine everything together and if you like a runnier sauce add some more pasta water.
  • Tip the sauce into the pasta and beans and stir everything well to coat the pasta. Add in ¾ of both the parmesan and the parsley and a good grinding of pepper (you shouldn’t need salt because of the bacon).
  • Pile into serving dishes then sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and parsley.

Serve immediately along with some garlic bread.