This classic Roman stew of tender young green vegetables is a great way to celebrate the arrival of spring. It is so well loved that variations on the classic version are now found on trattoria menus all over Italy, with locally grown vegetables and herbs added as they come into season, and different cheeses, such as Pecorino or Grana Padano, and garnishes.

By & / Photography By Lisa Linder | March 10, 2017


1. Add the fava beans to a small pan of boiling water. Cover and simmer gently for about 3 minutes, until the beans are just tender. Drain and cool under cold running water. Use your fingers to gently squeeze the green beans out of their grey outer casings. Set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not colored. Add the leeks and asparagus and cook gently for about 3 minutes, turning them occasionally.

3. Pour in the vegetable broth and turn up the heat. Add the peas and when the broth is nearly boiling, reduce it to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the fava beans, artichoke hearts and spinach or chard. Cook gently for 6–8 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender and retain their fresh green color. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped mint and serve the vignole ladled into shallow bowls with a drizzle of olive oil. Scatter with shavings of Parmesan.

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  • 7 ounces podded fava beans
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 8 baby leeks, trimmed and halved
  • 12 young thin asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into short lengths
  • ½ pint Vegetable Top and Tail Broth
  • 7 ounces podded fresh peas
  • 4 baby artichoke hearts in oil
  • 7 ounces spinach or Swiss chard, shredded Salt and pepper
  • 1 small bunch mint, chopped Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings, to serve
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