The Vignarola, one of the most famous Roman spring recipes, as this is the time of year when you can find fava beans, artichokes and fresh peas. A delight for the lovers of these vegetables, suitable, once again, for vegans.
An almost obligatory element, which I have not included in the recipe, is the romaine lettuce. Because of unrelated stories, it has been impossible for me to find any lettuce, but since I didn’t want to spoil the rest of the fresh ingredients, I have made it this way. Anyway, if you want to add it, take half a romaine lettuce, cut it into strips and add it at the last minute, with the parsley and mint, which is cooked with the residual heat, or almost reduced to nothing.
There is a more powerful variant of Vignarola, which includes guanciale in the recipe. The truth is that it is very tasty and is the favourite of those who need to disguise their vegetables a little. If you want to try it, follow the same instructions I give you, but fry 50 g of guanciale cut into strips in the pan, before adding the onion.
Many accompany it with toast and it is delicious with pasta. Simply stir-fry the pasta with the Vignarola, together with a ladle of pasta cooking water and finish it off with a little grated pecorino.
Fava beans, peas and artichokes (Vignarola alla romana)
- 1 Medium onion
- 150 g Fava beans weight of the beans already peeled
- 150 g Peas
- 2 Artichokes
- 1/3 glass Dry white wine
- 2 leaves Mint or a teaspoon of dried
- 1 Cayenne
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
- Attention: Peeling fava beans and artichokes leaves your hands a little brown and it takes a while to get them out. Use gloves, if you want to avoid it.
- Remove the fava beans and peas from the pods, if you haven't already bought them clean.
- Chop the onion.
- Peel the artichokes, removing the hard outer leaves and the "woody" centre from the inside. Cut them into thin slices. If they are not going to be used immediately, put them in water with a squeeze of lemon so that they do not rust.
- Poach the onion in a pan with 3 spoonfuls of olive oil, over medium heat.
- When they start to get colored, raise the heat a little and add the artichokes and cayenne pepper, if you like it spicy.
- After a couple of minutes, add the beans.
- After 2 minutes, add the peas.
- After another couple of minutes, add the white wine.
- When the alcohol has evaporated (when it no longer smells of alcohol), lower the heat to between low and moderate, add a couple of ladles of water, salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir, cover the pan and leave for 10 minutes.
- Watch what you are doing at all times. Depending on the vegetables, the pan and the fire, the times can be shortened or lengthened a little. Make sure that the vegetables do not run out of liquid, and add a little water if necessary.
- Check that the vegetables are at the cooking point you are interested in, add salt if necessary, and add the parsley and mint.
- Turn off the heat, stir and serve the Vignarola after a minute's rest.