I will eat green beans with anything. I adore them. But even I get slightly over-whelmed by them come August. It’s been a very slow start to the bean harvest thanks to our erratic English weather. However, now the sun’s arrived, they have shot up! And I have a huge glut of green beans as a result – at least a kilo every couple of days. 

I made this green bean carbonara for supper the other night (from The Gluts & Gluttony Cookbook and Growing Guide) and, because I was feeling brave, I had a crack at filming it. Apparently it’s what the cool kids do these days – film themselves doing everyday things. But don’t worry, I won’t be inviting you to join me on snap chat next or buying a selfie-stick, both of which are strictly for the under-30s and, frankly, unforgivable.

Anyway, to the veg! This is one of my favourite because is hearty and filling and the beans are the hero of the dish. Any bean is good here – French, bobby, runner, even broad (as you’ll see in the video, I’m quite keen on that last option). If you’ve got them, throw in some peas and mange-tout as well – all legumes welcome. It happens to be carb’ free and is perfectly filling as it is, but you can, of course, add pasta at the end if you like.

French Bean Carbonara
Serves 2
A quick and simple one-pot supper full of seasonal veg
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. Green beans 175g
  2. Sunflower oil glug
  3. Shallots 2
  4. Garlic clove 1
  5. Pancetta, diced 90g
  6. Thyme leaves 1tbsp
  7. Egg yolks 3
  8. Double cream 75g
  9. Parmesan good handful
  10. Pepper to taste
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Instructions
  1. Boil the beans for 3-5 minutes before plunging them into cold water to keep them green. If using French beans, drain and split down the middle longways along the seam to create ribbons. (When cooked, you will find the beans easily come apart in your hands.)
  2. In a deep non-stick frying pan, brown the pancetta over a high heat whilst you finely dice the shallots and garlic.
  3. Add these to the pancetta with the thyme, turn the heat down and sweat until soft.
  4. Add the beans and muddle everything around for a few seconds.
  5. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks, cream and parmesan together and season well with pepper. (If your pancetta is salty then you are unlikely to need more salt.)
  6. Remove the frying pan from the heat then pour in the egg mixture and stir vigorously. The egg will cook in the heat of the pan so keep it moving or you'll have scrambled egg beans - not pleasant.
  7. Loosen with a little water or a splash more cream if needed and serve immediately.
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