When the Chefs Bérard of our culinary vacation “Cooking Passport to Provence” won a Michelin Star for their restaurant we were thrilled, and celebrated it with the wonderful recipe. For many years Chef René Bérard taught our culinary travelers about French gastronomy. Although he has since retired and no longer offers our clients cooking classes, his legacy (and his restaurant) continue with his son!
One of the hallmarks of Chef Bérard’s cooking was always the use of extremely fresh, seasonal ingredients, usually harvested from the extensive garden of their bastide. If you can find fresh seasonal produce – including fresh beans – at your local farmer’s market, you will taste the difference and be happy you went to the extra effort! If you have to use dried beans, you will need to soak them overnight and adjust the cooking time, but the dish will simply not be the same.
Penne Pasta with White Asparagus and Rocket Salad
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Cook method: Boil
- 500 grs. Penne Pasta
- 8 tbsp of Olive oil
- 16 tips of white asparagus
- 1 liter of chick broth
- 1 slice minced onion
- 400 grs. fresh kidney beans or Borlotti beans
- 4 handfulls of rocket greens (arugula), cleaned and stems removed
- Juice of 1 lemon
1. Bring water to boil then cook the fresh beans for 5 to 10 minutes (the length of time will vary according to the beans, but theyy must remain firm). Cool them off under trickling coldwater then peel them.
2. Cut the asparagus keeping approx. 5 cm. in length and roast them in olive oil.
3. Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Add the pasta and onion and cook over high heat and stir for 3 minutes.
4. Pour in the chicken broth and half the lemon juice, and continue cooking until the Penne pasta is “Al dente”.
5. Add the asparagus tips that are already cooked.
6. When the pasta has absorbed all the broth, add the other half of the lemon juice, the kidney beans and the rocket salad (the stalks having been removed).
7. Mix it all together and serve.
By Peg Kern
Sign up to receive our newsletter, which includes travel tips, recipes, promotions, and information on our best cooking vacations.