Right now we’re pulling lots of broccoli, cauliflower, greens and broadbeans out of the garden.  Let’s bring them to the table…

Paulo’s Broccoli, Cream and Lemon Pasta

My old friend Paulo was a 50 something bohemian Sardinian man who’s good looks, relaxed smile and rich accent seemed to put a shiver down the spine of the older female counter assistants at the Vic Market deli section, who called him Mr Paul for some reason and visibly swooned.  Paulo thought life was meant to be easy and frequently made this pasta sauce which could be prepared from the time you put the pasta on the boil.


•    250g fettuccine or other pasta.
•    One large head of broccoli
•    Juice and zest of one large lemon
•    1 cup cream
•    3 cloves of garlic
•    Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
•    Salt and ground black pepper to taste
•    2 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil


Cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to the instructions on the package.  (Don’t waste good olive oil by putting it in the water).
Chop the broccoli, and add to a steamer.
Warm the olive oil gently in a different saucepan and add chopped or crushed garlic.  Half a minute after the garlic starts to bubble, add the cream, lemon inc zest, salt and pepper and walm through. Add the lightly steamed broccoli.
Drain the pasta and return it to the pasta pot. Add the grated Parmesan, then taste the sauce for seasoning and pour it over the pasta. Toss quickly over medium heat until the pasta in evenly coated with the sauce, and serve immediately (serves 2-3).

Bissara (BroadBean Dip)

If you think you don’t like broad beans (aka fava beans) I think there’s a very good chance you haven’t eaten young fresh ones.  Honestly, to my tooth they are one of the most delicious jewels of the garden.  What’s more they grow though Winter, are tremendously productive, they fix nitrogen into the soil and are a source of huge amounts of protein in the diet.  All this, and I honestly wonder why there haven’t been civilisations that have worshipped of the broadbean.  I can too easily imagine cultures where a wife to be sleeps with necklace of dried broadbeans under her pillow to bring fertility; where warriors adorn their helmets with iron likenesses of beans; and priests make ritual sacrifices of goats to Lord Fava the most powerful of the gods.

According to our VEG page on Broad Beans “Some also use fava beans as a natural alternative to drugs like Viagra, citing a link between L-dopa production and the human libido. Why not try incorporating the grey-green broad bean mash into your next romantic rendezvous. ”  This simple recipe could be just the ticket.


1 kg fresh shelled fava beans — if they’re older and harder, peel each bean
Juice of one small lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp ground cumin

Minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
 to taste
Chili powder to taste
Salt to taste


Steam or blanch the beans in a medium sized saucepan for two or three minutes.

Tranfer half the beans and a few tablespoons of the cooking water and the lemon juice to a food processor, and blend until smooth.  Add the remaining beans and the oil, and spices and process until smooth again.

Sprinkle with the parsley and/or chili powerder.  Serve with baked pita bread, crackers or sliced vegetables for dipping.