Braised Broad Beans with Pancetta and Swiss Chard


Preparation info

  • 6–8

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Alastair Little's Italian Kitchen

Alastair Little's Italian Kitchen

By Alastair Little

Published 1996

  • About

This is one of Clara Belcapo’s recipes, normally served as a dish in its own right.


  • 300 g broad beans, approx. 1.3 kg before podding
  • 5 tbsp good olive oil
  • 100 g streaky pancetta, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, 1 onion and 2 celery sticks, very finely diced for a soffritto
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 150 g tinned tomato pieces
  • 1.5 kg Swiss chard, prepared
  • salt and pepper


    In a medium to large casserole heat the oil over a medium flame. Add the pancetta and sweat for 5 minutes, then add the soffritto and garlic and sweat for a further 5 minutes. Now add the beans and continue sweating together for yet another 5 minutes. Add the wine, the tomato pieces and their juices and stir. Cover and simmer for half an hour, then add the Swiss chard which you should have coarsely chopped. Stir, taste, adjust the seasoning, cover and continue to simmer for a further half hour. This may seem an excessive time to cook fresh broad beans and chard, but it takes that long for all the flavours, particularly the tomato, to blend to a harmonious whole – honest!