Being the offspring of a cookery writer (Josceline Dimbleby) is a privilege. I didn’t learn to cook at mum’s elbow – she was always busy making notes and would shoo me and my sisters out of the kitchen. But I learned to eat. Meal after meal even we were the guinea pigs for experiments with new dishes that she had picked up at home and abroad.

When we opened Leon she would be there several times a week, tasting, making notes, and giving advice. And occasionally offering some fast recipes of her own. These Italian broad beans are one of them - a store cupboard stable that you can whip up in 20 minutes as a simple supper with bread or to serve as a side.


Peel the garlic and slice across in very thin slivers. 

Put the tomatoes, garlic  and olive oil in a heavy saucepan and season generously with freshly ground black pepper.

Bring up to bubbling point and add the broad beans.

Bring the mixture to the boil again and then simmer gently in the open pan for 10-15 minutes until the sauce has reduced and any liquid has evaporated.

Add the basil leaves and serve.

Kids in the Kitchen

Get kids to peel the garlic, measure the olive oil and weigh the broad beans. They’ll probably enjoy picking the basil leaves and grinding the pepper into the sauce, too. Encourage children to taste this dish before it goes to the table, and let them judge if it needs more basil or seasoning.