Pancetta is an Italian bacon that comes in a roll like a hard sausage. It is cured in salt, but not smoked. You can find it at your favorite deli or specialty market. If you can't find pancetta you can use ham or prosciutto. This dish can also be prepared without the meat. It makes a fantastic main dish for a delightful meal with a European flair!
2 1/2 cups baby lima beans, fresh not dried
1/2 cup of pancetta, chopped (or prosciutto, or ham)
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
1 tbs. olive oil
4 green onions, chopped
fresh cracked pepper to taste
Cut the pancetta into small pieces. This meat is somewhat leathery. I used kitchen scissors to cut it, but if you have a nice, sharp knife, that will do as well.
Brown the pancetta in a heavy skillet over a medium-high heat. This takes about 5 minutes and it turns reddish in color like ham rather than crispy like bacon.
Remove the pancetta from the skillet and set aside.
In the same skillet heat the olive oil and sauté the green onions. When the onions are tender add the lima beans and continue to sauté for another 3 minutes or so.
Add 1 cup chicken broth to the skillet and bring to a boil. Pancetta is fairly salty, so it is best to use a low-salt chicken broth. Once the broth begins to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Now add the pancetta and pepper to the lima beans and green onions. You can also add more chicken broth if the beans and onions have become too dry. Continue to simmer until the lima beans are tender, about 15 minutes.
Serve warm. This recipe makes enough for 4 people as a side dish or 2 as a main course.