It’s the fava bean season! I know that some of you will be like “fava what?” For some people the only way they have heard about it was when Hannibal Lecter served it with liver and Chianti in The Silence of the Lambs. I definitely grew up eating them differently. I was a little disappointed to see how hard it is to get them around the District, and once you see them at the Farmers Market, they can be quite expensive. They are full of vitamins and a great source of lean protein so it might be worth getting some now since the season for them is so short.

pasta27If I could I would eat a huge pot of cooked fava beans without adding anything, except for salt.  My husband witnessed that a couple of times when we were in Poland. But this time since I didn’t have a lot I decided to use them in a sauce. I have also been thinking for a while what to do with this basil that has been spreading in my garden and finally decided to make basil pasta with fava beans sauce. I know it may sound complicated but it’s really not, and if you have a pasta roller and cutter, that’s even easier and faster. The fava beans sauce complements the pasta quite nicely and highlights the basil. It is so fragrant that you might to try eating the pasta alone with only freshly grated parmesan and olive oil.

Pasta Serving: 4
Sauce Serving: 2
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes (depending on which protein you decide to use it might be a bit longer)
Calories: 470

Ingredients for pasta:
2 cups fresh basil leaves, rinsed
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
2 eggs
1-2 tablespoon of water
1 teaspoon of olive oil

4 cups fava beans, cooked
4 strips of bacon, fried and chopped
½ cup of white wine
½ cup of chicken stock
1 green onion, diced
2 garlic gloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon of red chili pepper
1 teaspoon of canola oil
½ cup of freshly grated parmesan
Pinch of salt and pepper for taste
½ cup of green peas
1/8 teaspoon of lemon zest

This recipe for pasta is basically the same as I already posted for spinach pasta.
The best way to combine basil with the dough is to mix it in a food processor with a teaspoon of olive oil. If you don’t have a food processor, try to dice it finally or use a mortar and pestle.
basil chopped
My food processor still left little pieces of basil and I think that it only adds some cool texture and flavor.
ingredients dough
Put the flour on the working space, then make a little well and crack the two eggs inside it. Then add the salt and start to mix it.  Add the chopped basil and a tablespoon or two of water if necessary. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes. If it’s too sticky, add some more flour.
dough knead
Roll it into a ball, cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
During that time start making the sauce. Depending on how you got your fava beans it may take you a little bit longer. If they are still in the pods, you need to remove them. Boil 6 cups of water in a pot with 1 tablespoon of salt and then add the beans. Cook them for about 10 minutes. You don’t want them to be too soft. Check after the 5 minutes by biting into one and if you see they are getting too soft, rinse them and let them cool down. Then you have to peel them. This is the most tedious part of this process.
So open a bottle of wine.  Since you will be using some for cooking, you might as well try it first to see if it’s a good one.
Now you can prepare the sauce. Warm up a non-stick pan and add 1 teaspoon of canola oil. Add the chopped white parts of the green onion and sear it for one minute.
Add the minced garlic, chili flakes and fava beans, stir it gently and cook for one minute. Pour in the white wine and let it cook for 1 more minute, then add the chicken stock and stir it all together gently. Add the bacon and cook it for two minutes. Add ½ cup of green peas and parmesan cheese and stir gently again until all the ingredients are combined.
Turn the heat off and let the sauce rest. Taste it and add salt and pepper if you feel the need. The sauce may seem a little dull but it will perfectly complement the pasta.
Boil the water for pasta. After the dough is rested, cut it into half and start with the first batch.
Using the Kitchen Aid attachments makes it a much faster process because I don’t really need to roll out the dough but flatten it a little bit and let it run through the roller.
If you using a roller, sprinkle some flour on the working surface to make sure the dough doesn’t stick and start rolling it out until thin.
Then use either a pizza cutter or knife and cut the tagliatelle noodles half inch/1 cm thick.
Separate the noodles and sprinkle with flour. Cover them with kitchen towel and let them rest until the water starts boiling.
boiling pasta1
When the water is boiling, add some salt and add your pasta, change the heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes. Strain it, but reserve maybe a cup of the pasta water.
You can add the pasta to the pan with the sauce or serve the sauce over the pasta. I prefer the latter.
At the beginning I thought about adding crème fraiche but I don’t think it’s necessary. The fava beans will become a little mushy and will nicely coat the pasta. You can add a touch of lemon juice at the end to bring up more flavors.
You can freeze the remaining pasta and serve it with other sauce in the future or maybe some parmesan cheese and olive oil will do.

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