La Vignarola, Blink and You'll Miss It

Written by Katie Parla on April 25, 2009


Springtime in Rome is very magical for many reasons. La Vignarola–a medley of tender artichokes, fava beans, and peas–is one of them. The other ingredients may vary (some recipes call for romaine lettuce hearts), but you are sure to find guanciale, spring onions, and a generous amount of black pepper in the mix. Vignarola is very versatile dish–it can act as a primo secondo or contorno; leaving out the guanciale makes it vegetarian (ewe); the three components can be served mixed together or on separate parts of a dish, as I had it at Il Comparone Thursday night. In spite of all of these variables, one thing is certain: blink and you’ll miss it. In Rome’s fiercely seasonal produce environment, artichokes, fava beans, and peas don’t stay small, sweet and vignarola worthy for long.

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