Farfalle con le Fave e Pecorino (Fava Beans)

1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


  • 1 pound farfalle
  • 5 ounces pancetta, cubed or cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh fava beans (about 2.5 pounds in the pod)
  • 1 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 4 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese (grated)

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Prep the Fava Beans

  1. Getting to the inner fava bean is a double shelling process. First, remove the beans from the pod. Second, steam or blanch the beans, and then cool in an ice bath. The waxy cover of the beans should peel off easily. One pound of fresh favas should yield about a cup.

Prepare the Sauce:

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion. Sauté until translucent. Add the pancetta and cook until golden. Add the fava beans and wine. Cover and cook for about 5 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, bearing in mind the saltiness of both the pancetta and the Pecorino. Cover and simmer for about 5-10 minutes, until tender.
  2. In a separate bowl, add the Pecorino and some black pepper. Add a few table spoons of the cooking water and beat together until creamy,
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until 1 minute less then al dente, drain it, retaining about 1 cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the fava bean mixture. Cook together for about a minute, adding some of the retained cooking water if it seems dry.
  4. Serve immediately.

Ed's Review

Come with me and you'll be
In a world of pure imagination
Take a look and you'll see
Into your imagination
If you want to view paradise
Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
Want to change the world, there's nothing to it
There is no life I know
To compare with pure imagination
Living there, you'll be free
If you truly wish to be

I recently heard Jamie Callum's soulful cover of Gene Wilder’s original rendition of “Pure Imagination” (from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory). It turns out that the song has been covered by everyone from Lou Rawls to Maroon 5.  It's got me humming away. I listened to all of them while shelling the fava beans for this week’s Sunday Pasta. Fava beans are a real drag to prep, but "If you want to eat paradise, Simply look below and view it."

Buon Appetito!

Ed Garrubbo

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