This recipe comes from Lazio, the region where Rome is located; in the local dialect, the word ‘vignaroli’ come from the Italian word vigna – vineyard, and they are the farmers that sell fruit and vegetables on the market. Vignarola is a dish rich in vegetables and legumes, although there is a meat ingredient which is Guanciale guanciale-italian-cured-pork-jowl, cured pork jowl.
Vignarola is usually consumed as a side-dish, however it’s also great as a pasta seasoning or on top of a bruschetta. Vignarola consists in broad beans, peas, artichokes, lettuce, fresh mint, Guanciale (cured pork jowl) and grated Pecorino cheese.
Serves: 4 | Preparation : 15 mins | Cooking : 40 mins
- Lettuce: 1 head (or about 600 g)
- Broad beans, fresh or frozen: 400 g
- Peas, fresh: 400 g
- Spring onion: 200 g
- Guanciale (Italian cured pork jowl) : 100 g
- Artichokes: 2
- Lemons: 2 to 3 slices or juice
- Vegetable broth, warm: about 500 ml
- White wine, dry: about 1 glass
- EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil: a drizzle
- Pecorino cheese, grated: a handful
- Mint, fresh: to taste
- Salt and pepper: to taste
Shell the broad beans and peas, clean the artichokes: first remove the hard outer leaves, chop off the beard of the artichokes to expose their tender inner core, then cut them in wedges. Place them in a bowl full of cold water and lemon slices or lemon juice to prevent the artichokes from blakening.
Prepare the broth.
Tip: you can make the broth by simply boiling together an onion, a carrot, the outer artichoke leaves and the broad beans.
Chop up lettuce, dice Guanciale or cut it into thin strips.
Heat up a large saucepan, brown Guanciale until it becomes translucent. No oil or butter addition needed. Add the broad beans and peas, stir well. Pour a ladle of hot broth, let it simmer.
As soon as the broth evaporates, add the spring onions along with artichokes, let them frying up. Pour in the wine and reduce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cook for about 10 mins by stirring often. Add the lettuce and the rest of the broth; cover with a lid and let it cook over low heat for about 10-15 mins.
Mix in the fresh mint leaves. Serve topped with a generous handful of grated Pecorino and a drizzle of olive oil.