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La Vignarola

4 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, minced
1 large yellow onion, peeled and minced
2 pounds spring peas, shelled
2 cups dry white wine
2 pounds fresh fava beans
Fine sea salt
6 to 12 baby artichokes, with several inches of their stems intact
Freshly cracked pepper
Zest of 1 lemon, finely shredded
2 fat cloves garlic, peeled, crushed, and finely minced
1 cup torn fresh mint leaves


In a large saute pan over a medium flame, warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and brown the pancetta for several minutes. Soften the onion until transparent in the fat, taking care not to color it. Add the peas and the wine, bringing the combination to a simmer. Cover the pot, its lid askew, and gently simmer the peas for 20 minutes or less, until barely tender. Remove the fava beans from their pods and cook in boiling sea-salted water for 12 to 15 minutes or until they are nearly tender, rather like the al dente stage in cooking pasta. Set aside. Blanch the artichokes in boiling salted water for 3 minutes. If they are of the purple-lipped variety and no larger than a small plum, leave them whole, barely trimming their tender petals and scraping at their stems a bit. If they are somewhat larger, give the stems a scrape or two and slice them in half, lengthwise, removing any signs of a more than embryonic choke. In another saute pan, over a lively flame, warm 1/3 cup of olive oil and saute the artichokes, salting them generously, adding freshly cracked pepper and tossing them about for several minutes or until they are nearly tender. Transfer the artichokes and their accumulated juices to the saute pan with the peas and pancetta, sauteing the mixture for 2 or 3 minutes just to finish cooking the artichokes. In a small saucepan, warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil with the lemon zest and the garlic, taking care not to color the garlic. Set the scented oil aside. Add the blanched favas and the mint leaves to the saute pan, gently heating the components together and taking care not to let them reach a simmer. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon/garlic-scented oil, and serve la vignarola as an antipasto or a first course, warm or at room temperature, with oven-toasted bread and cold white wine.

Source: www.epicurious.com