Springtime Pasta with Fava Beans and Herbed Ricotta

By • May 9, 2011 • 24 Comments



Author Notes: This is a variation on one of my favorite themes: fava beans tossed in mint, garlic, and a little olive oil. I added a cheese mix I have hanging around at times which folds ricotta, asiago or pecorino, and fontina cheeses together with some herbs. It's so versatile I can add it to any number of dishes to add a little something extra. Bonus: several parts can be done the day before and just thrown together for a really easy weeknight dinner.TheWimpyVegetarian

Serves 2 main entrees

Fava beans and herbs

  • 2 cups shelled fava beans
  • 2 teaspoons fresh mint, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh basil, minced
  • 2 tablespoons spring garlic, minced
  • juice from 1 small lemon, to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons herbed ricotta mix (recipe below)
  • 1/3 box fettucini
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1-2 slices proscuitto, torn into bite size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon toasted breadcrumbs
  1. Heat a large pot of water to boil. This water will be used for both the fava beans and cooking the pasta, so it needs to be big enough for both.
  2. Shell the fava beans. The very best way to do this is to get any small children in to help that might think this will be fun. Pop the beans into the boiling water for a couple minutes and pull them out. Let sit until cool enough to handle while you prep the herbs.
  3. Peel the outer covering of the fava beans to reveal beautiful bright green little fava beans. Set aside. Combine the prepped herbs together including the salt. Reheat the "fava bean" water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook it according to the box directions while you make the Herbed Ricotta Cheese Mix. Drain the pasta.
  4. Heat a saute pan with a little olive oil and saute the herbs for 1-2 minutes until aromatic, and add the favas. Toss together and add the lemon juice and additional olive oil if necessary. Turn off the heat and add the pasta and toss together in the saute pan. Toss in the torn proscuitto pices and top with the breadcrumbs.

Herbed Ricotta Cheese Mix

  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, well drained
  • 2 tablespoons Asiago or Pecorino cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons Fontina cheese, grated
  • 1 bulb spring garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint minced
  • Pinch salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to use. This recipe makes more than you'll need for the pasta, so just refrigerate the rest for other uses. You'll be surprised the number of uses you'll come up with!

Tags: adaptable to vegetarian, can be made ahead, Spring

Comments (24) Questions (0)

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over 2 years ago MrsVoss

I made this last night and it was delicious!! Thanks for sharing this recipe =)

Me

over 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks so much MrsVoss! And thanks for the reminder of this recipe. I've got some fava beans in the fridge that I want to use. Tonight's dinner :-)

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about 3 years ago Sagegreen

How gorgeous! Yum. Glad to have you back!

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about 3 years ago lacerise

This looks fantastic. I'm looking forward to trying it.

Me

about 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks lacerise! I hope you like it if you try it. And I've love to hear your thoughts if you do!!

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about 3 years ago lapadia

Yum and Yeah for Springtime! We grow lima beans but they are never ready until summer around here.

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about 3 years ago lapadia

Oops...meant fava beans :)

Me

about 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I would love to try my hand at growing fava beans! I'm just starting to put in my summer garden now and am having fun considering what to plant this year!

Me

about 3 years ago wssmom

Heading to the market shortly to get the ingredients for this amazing recipe! Tummy is making 'I'm hungry for this' noises even as I type!

Me

about 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks wssmom! I hope you like it and would love to hear how it went for you!

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about 3 years ago theyearinfood

Classic! Haven't thrown any favas into a pasta dish yet this year - I'll have to rectify that.

Me

about 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks theyearinfood!! Aren't they just great in pasta?

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about 3 years ago Lizthechef

Terrific - and your photo is a thing of beauty, ChezSuzanne. Thumbs up!

Me

about 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks so much, Liz! The whole photography thing is such a struggle for me, I admit. But I continue to try. I pick up my new Mac today and start to unlearn PC and transition. Wish me luck!

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about 3 years ago Fairmount_market

Thanks for the delicious recipe. I just made something similar for dinner, complete with recruiting a small child to shell the fava beans.

Me

about 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

You're so lucky! I didn't have anyone around that could be "tom sawyered" into shelling those darn beans. But it was worth it. I just love them.

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about 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

This sounds stupendous! Every single piece of this dish sounds delicious.

Me

about 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks so much, fiveandspice! I'd love to hear your thoughts if you try it.

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about 3 years ago Midge

So many of my favorite things all in one beautiful dish! I've saved it to try as soon as I see favas here. Glad you had a good trip!

Me

about 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks Midge! I'd love to hear your thoughts if you try it!

Me

about 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

We just loved the Galapagos Islands as well as travelling in Ecuador. I kept writing down ideas of things to try to cook! All that said, it's so nice to be back home.

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

This sounds really lovely, ChezSuzanne!

Me

about 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks gingerroot! I just polished off the rest of it for lunch. I'm stilling catching up on food52, but many many congrats on your win for your chicken dish in the coffee contest!! I can't wat to try it.

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks so much, ChezSuzanne! It was an exciting week, for sure! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. I hope you had a wonderful trip - looking forward to seeing recipes inspired by it! Glad you are back!