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Fa-va Va-voom Pasta

May 16, 2009 by Joan Nova in Italian, Pasta, Vegetables | 16 Comments

Fava beans are a seasonal ingredient that I don’t have any experience with.  I’ve seen a few bloggers writing about them recently so when I spotted them in my local Whole Foods, I decided to experiment. 

My kitchen credo is…when in doubt, make pasta and so I did. Fa-va-Va-voom! (That means it was delicious.) I never follow a recipe, most particularly with pasta, and just use what is available. For this one, with the exception of the fava beans, everything else was waiting for me at home.

small-shaped pasta
fava beans
grape tomatoes
crushed red pepper
chicken broth
olive oil
crumbled gorgonzola cheese
bacon bits
parmigiano reggiano

• cook shelled fava beans in chicken broth for about 10 minutes; add grape tomatoes, fresh garlic and crushed red pepper. Let simmer till beans are tender and tomatoes have started to break down. Add additional chicken broth if needed.
• Drizzle a little olive oil and add a small amount of crumbled bacon (about 1 teaspoon per serving).

To Plate
Spoon gorgonzola cheese on bottom, add pasta and top with sauce. Toss.

Finishing Touch
Grated parmigiano reggiano and a quick sprinkle of Sicilian sea salt with orange essence (optional).

Final Note
I must tell you that this is my favorite type of cooking…spontaneously adding layer after layer of flavor. Simple, bold, and pop-in-your mouth tasty.
NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. Holler says:

    I started drooling when I saw that picture Joan! I am making myself oblivious to the few ingredients I wouldn’t eat and am pronouncing it irresistable :)

  2. Holly says:

    Looks great. My favorite way to make favas is to make a dip/spread like hummus. You boil them, take off the outer skin, puree with garlic, really good olive oil salt and pepper. The funny thing is everyone thinks its guacamole!

  3. Elra says:

    I must completely agree with your style of spontaneous cooking. I am the same way in that manner. The result more often surprisingly good. This pasta is one good example. Delicious Joan!

  4. Karen says:

    My favorite way to cook, too Joan. This dish looks very good and I love fava beans!

  5. Joan Arndt says:

    Ciao Joan!
    Your fava recipe sounds great and fave are in season right now in Umbria.  In fact, I spent over three hours yesterday shelling from our vegetable garden. Peas also are in season and they are wonderfully sweet and also work well with pasta – a typical primavera pasta dish.
    Someone who commented on your recipe raised a very good point — removing the outer skin of the fave after boiling.  This improves the taste of the fave one hundred fold.  Here’s what I do:  Bring water to a full rolling boil, add coarse salt and shelled fave.  Continue cooking at full boil for 3 minutes and drain.  Remove outer skin of fave (pinch one end of the skin and the bright green fave easily slip out).  Season with salt and olive oil (Le Vigne’s the best) and enjoy.
    Try a taste comparison and I’m sure you’ll agree. 

  6. Elly says:

    This looks great, Joan. I accidentally bought fava beans not long ago when I was reaching for gigandes (greek big white beans). I’ve enjoyed fava beans the times I’ve had them but never cooked them on my own. Looks like I will be doing that soon. :)

  7. brii says:

    buon giornoooo joan!
    I adore fava beans!!
    last year a dear friend of mine sent me 5kg from Sicily..
    perhaps she will this year too :)))
    have a nice week, dear

  8. Núria says:

    Good job Joan! I’m not a big lover of Habas but the small ones are so tender and tasty :D. You can cook them with morcilla or with some mint and ham or… there’s many recipes here ;D

    Want to see the omelet roundup?

  9. My Carolina Kitchen says:

    Your pasta looks terrific. I wish I was more spontaneous in the kitchen.

  10. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen says:

    I agree, I love this kind of cooking and your pasta looks great!

    So what did you think of the favas? I have had them a few times, but I don’t find them to be worth the effort. But I am sure that I in the minority.

  11. Joan Nova says:

    Jenn, I enjoyed it but wouldn’t seek them out.

  12. Penny says:

    I haven’t visited in a while. Glad I found you again. The fava pasta is a great idea.

  13. Ivy says:

    I’ve never had fresh fava beans before. I am tempted to try them.

  14. Jeff says:

    Beautiful and simply done! Perfect for the wonderful fava bean (the word always makes me chuckle for some reason).

    Plus you can never go wrong with pasta for a quick meal.

  15. Gabi says:

    Joan! Fabulous!

    Have to also second Joan’s comment here that if you remove the skin you can taste it better –

    I’d also keep the salt out from the fava boiling water as that fades the

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