Luckily, dried favas are readily available and combine well with the fresh tomatoes and basil that are abundant in our garden right now. If you've never cooked with dried favas before, get ready for a workout removing the outer skins. When you see the amount of labor involved, you will also understand why European explorers were thrilled to discover and later cultivate the beans of the New World. But when you have the time, favas have a unique and wonderful flavor that no other bean can equal. So turn on the tv and get to work.
Tagliatelle with Fava Beans and Ricotta Salata
based on a recipe in The Il Fornaio Pasta Book by Maurizio Mazzon
3 garlic cloves
1 Tbs sea salt, plus more to taste
1 lb dry fava beans, soaked in water overnight,
3/4 cup olive oil (used in 3 different steps)
1 shallot, minced
6 basil leaves, torn into pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine
black pepper to taste
1 lb dried tagliatelle pasta
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1/2 cup shaved Ricotta Salata
(use vegetable peeler when cheese is very cold)
- Place beans in large pot and cover with water 1" above beans. Add 1 Tbs sea salt, bring to a boil and cook until soft, about one hour. Remove beans with a skimmer but SAVE THE COOKING WATER.
- Heat 2 Tbs olive oil over medium and saute shallot and 2 smashed garlic cloves until soft. Add half the basil and half the beans and cook 2 minutes. Add wine and cook until completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 2 cups of fresh water and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes, and then puree in a food processor.
- Return bean cooking water to a boil and add dry pasta. Cook until ready, then drain.
- Meanwhile, over medium high for 1 minute, saute 1 garlic glove, minced, and rest of basil in 1/3 cup olive oil. Add remaining beans and salt and pepper to taste. Cook 2 minutes. Add pureed beans and mix well.
- Add cooked pasta to fava bean sauce, then add 1/3 cup olive oil, tomatoes and pecorino. Mix well. Plate up and then top with shaved ricotta salata.
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