Hurrah, Fava!

June 28, 2012

Fava beans made an appearance at the Boulder Farmers’ Market last weekend, so naturally I snagged some from Red Wagon Farm. Last year I made a great fava bean pesto, as well as a dish with favas, couscous, mushrooms, and potatoes. But this year I discovered something even better (and to my surprise, much simpler to make!).

I decided to use the fava beans in some kind of sauce on the Garlic Chive Pappardelle I picked up from Pappardelle’s. I did some searching online to check out what flavors went well with favas and was intrigued by a purée made with cream. Of course there was no way I would be using cream in my recipe (way too much fat), but what about Greek yogurt? A few more searches turned up some hits, plus mentions of pecorino cheese, lemon juice, thyme, rosemary, and Moroccan spices.

I found myself going back and forth on which of the above to use, and not really making much progress, so I figured I would just start by puréeing the favas, and add stuff until it tasted good. So I put my favas in the processor with a bit of yogurt and some chicken stock, and puréed it. I added just a bit of salt and…Oh, My! Wow. It tasted incredible. Really? That was all that was needed? Fantastic! Granted fava beans are a bit laborious to prepare themselves, but for this result they were very well worth it! I sautéed a little chopped green (well, they were purple to be honest) onions and garlic in olive oil, then combined it with the pasta and the purée. Outstanding! (And nearly fat-free – only about 2 grams in a cup of purée!)

Some of the Ingredients for Pasta with Fava Bean Purée

Some of the Ingredients for Pasta with Fava Bean Purée. Why not all of the ingredients, you ask? Well, at this point I really had no idea what I was going to use with the fava beans. But I felt compelled to take a picture of something!

Garlic Chive Pappardelle with Fava Bean Purée
serves 4 (double for more*)

8 oz pasta
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
5-7 green (or small spring) onions, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
about 1+1/4 lbs fava bean pods
2 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt
3 Tbsp chicken (or vegetable) stock
1/4 tsp salt

* I have a small food processor. I’m thinking if you have a larger one, you may want to double this recipe just because the quantity of a single recipe might not be enough for the blade to reach!

First prepare the fava beans: Rinse the pods, and then remove the individual beans from the pods.  Drop the beans in boiling water for about 2 minutes, and then remove them with a slotted spoon, and put them in an ice bath to stop them from cooking.  Once they have cooled, peel off the outer covering of the fava beans (you can usually just rip the end and then squeeze the beans out).  The resulting beans should be a vivid green color at this point. Here are some pictures of the process:

Fava beans in the pod, removed peels, resulting beans

Next, make the purée: In a food processor, purée the fava beans, yogurt, stock, and salt until smooth. Set aside.

Fava Bean Purée

Fava Bean Purée

Start bringing the pasta water to a boil, and then heat the olive oil on medium low in a small sauté pan. (The sequencing here isn’t time-critical, you just want to finish sautéing before the pasta is done.) Once the oil is warm, sauté the onions for 30-60 seconds, then add the garlic, and sauté until fragrant, for just about 15-30 seconds. Remove from heat once done.

Drain the pasta, then return it to the now empty pasta pot, adding the purée and the onions and garlic. Turn the heat to low, and stir, just until the purée is evenly distributed. This should be enough to warm up the purée.

Garlic and Chive Pappardelle with Fava Bean Purée

Garlic and Chive Pappardelle with Fava Bean Purée

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