1.Process nuts, garlic, watercress and pepper until finely chopped. With motor operating, gradually pour in ¼ cup of the extra virgin olive oil until combined. Season with salt to taste.
2.Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 8 minutes or until almost tender. Drain; reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water. Return pasta to pan; cover to keep warm.
3.Meanwhile, season pears. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat; cook pears for 2 minutes each side or until golden. Drain on paper towel.
4.Add nut paste to pasta with enough reserved cooking water, for paste to coat pasta (do not return the pan to the heat or the nut paste will thicken and make the mixture dry). Add pear, broad beans and extra watercress; toss gently to combine. Season to taste.
5.Serve pasta topped with cheese, drizzled with remaining extra virgin olive oil.
The nut paste can be made a day ahead; store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use. We’ve left the skin on the pears in this recipe as it has been shown to have twice the fibre of the flesh and a greater concentration of phytonutrients. Any bitterness from the skin and pepperiness from the watercress is easily balanced by the sweetness of the pear flesh.