Friday, May 16, 2008

Spaghetti with Fava Beans

Tonight we made spaghetti with fava beans, which no one told us was going to be sort of punishment-like, only not really that bad. I'm just dramatic. But, if anyone has better ideas about how to shells favas, I'd love to hear them.

We blanched them for @ 40 seconds, shocked them in a cold bath (you've been naughty little beans) and then peeled them. I guess I was expecting them to leap out of their shells like bears out of their winter caves in May... but alas. However, the manual labor was worth it.

A nice al dente spaghetti with enough garlic to kill the evil + basil + onions + parmesan cheese, you can't really go wrong. I did turn up the heat a little too high with the red pepper flakes, because I have a problem with red pepper flakes .. eg...I am obsessed. Sorry to just "e.g." you. Must work harder to banish lawyer sprite living in my brain. Be gone with you!

I must say though, the fava beans weren't the most exciting part of dinner. Lettuce from the garden was! Oh my goodness. I went today after work to snip some of the lovelies and it was really such an unexpectedly emotional process. It's my first garden of my own, and my first time eating things that I have grown. Harvesting was a powerful experience. One that I wish I could share with more people. My veggies (radishes, carrots, lettuces, etc) haven't been overly tended to, it's more just that they grew at all that blew my mind.

Here are some radishes from the garden.... quite spicy.

Spaghetti with Fava Beans


1/2 lb. spaghetti
2 lb fresh fava beans (about 2 c shelled)
3 TB olive oil
1/2 white onion, chopped finely
4 garlic cloves, minced
red pepper flakes to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp)
salt and pepper to taste
handful of basil, sliced
grated parmesan
juice of 1/4 lemon 


To prepare fava beans: Boil large pot of salted water. Prepare ice bath for beans. Remove beans from outer shell. Put fava beans in pot, boil for about a minute. Strain, and place beans in cold bath. Remove hulls. Yield will be about 1.5- 2 cups. Set beans aside.

Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to directions. Strain cooked pasta, and reserve about a cup of cooking liquid.  Set aside. 

To prepare pasta: Heat olive oil in large pan. Add onion,  garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute until soft, about seven minutes.

Add cooked pasta, basil and fava beans to large pan, combine. Add parmesan and cooking liquid until desired consistency is achieved. Season with salt and pepper. Add basil, and drizzle fresh lemon juice on pasta right before serving. Serves 4.

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