Fettuccine with Fava Beans

Known in Italy as Fettuccine con i fagioli di Fava, this meal is a perfect Winter time dish. I say that as I watch the snow that fell upon Seattle last night slowly melt into icy puddles.

The puree of Fava Beans holds itself on the pasta quite nicely. The boldness of the beans compliments the pasta rather than smothering it, as some sauces are prone to do (I’m looking at you, Puttanesca!). Fava Beans can be a pain t oowork with as you have to let the dry beans soak in water between 24-36 hours, and then shell them (either before or after you cook them in boiling water for 4-5 minutes). But they are certainly worth the wait. Avoid the canned beans if possible, and you’ll see what I mean.

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • 2 cups cooked, peeled fava beans
  • 3/4 pound dried fettuccine
  • 4 oz grated Parmesan cheese

Get out a medium sauce pan and place it over medium heat. Add olive oil, and wait a minute or two in order to allow oil to heat up. Add Garlic and brown in the heated oil (approx 5 minutes). Afterwards, add the freshly chopped oregeno and 1 cup of the chicken stock. Bring the stock to a boil. As it hits the boil, add 1 and 1/2 cups of the pre-cooked Fava beans. Bring up to a simmer (approx. 185 F degrees). Once it reaches a simmer, salt and pepper to taste.

Take the Fave/Stock mixture and pout it into a blender (or use a hand blender if you have one…I don’t, much to my deepest shame). Puree the Fave/Stock mixture. Add the rest of the stock (1/2 cup) and puree some more. Don’t worry if it looks to “liquidy” at this point. Pour back into sauce pan and add remaining whole Fava Beans. Lower the heat to medium low and allow to simmer. The starches of the beans will thicken the sauce during this point. See, I told you not to worry.

Make Fettuccine according to directions (add dried pasta to boiling water, and cook 12-14 minutes). Place pasta into large serving boil. Drizzle with olive oil, and add Fave Bean sauce. Mix with tongs. Plate, top with Parmesan cheese, and serve!

Serves 4


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