Make Ahead

Springtime Pasta with Fava Beans and HerbedĀ Ricotta

May  9, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Serves 2 main entrees
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

What You'll Need
  • Fava beans and herbs
  • 2 cups shelled fava beans
  • 2 teaspoons fresh mint, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons 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
  • 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. Fava beans and herbs
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  1. Herbed Ricotta Cheese Mix
  2. 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!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sagegreen
  • lapadia
  • wssmom
  • theyearinfood
  • Lizthechef

24 Reviews

MrsVoss April 2, 2012
I made this last night and it was delicious!! Thanks for sharing this recipe =)
TheWimpyVegetarian April 4, 2012
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 :-)
Sagegreen May 15, 2011
How gorgeous! Yum. Glad to have you back!
lacerise May 13, 2011
This looks fantastic. I'm looking forward to trying it.
Thanks lacerise! I hope you like it if you try it. And I've love to hear your thoughts if you do!!
lapadia May 13, 2011
Yum and Yeah for Springtime! We grow lima beans but they are never ready until summer around here.
lapadia May 13, 2011
Oops...meant fava beans :)
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!
wssmom May 12, 2011
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!
Thanks wssmom! I hope you like it and would love to hear how it went for you!
theyearinfood May 10, 2011
Classic! Haven't thrown any favas into a pasta dish yet this year - I'll have to rectify that.
Thanks theyearinfood!! Aren't they just great in pasta?
Lizthechef May 10, 2011
Terrific - and your photo is a thing of beauty, ChezSuzanne. Thumbs up!
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!
Fairmount_market May 9, 2011
Thanks for the delicious recipe. I just made something similar for dinner, complete with recruiting a small child to shell the fava beans.
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.
fiveandspice May 9, 2011
This sounds stupendous! Every single piece of this dish sounds delicious.
Thanks so much, fiveandspice! I'd love to hear your thoughts if you try it.
Midge May 9, 2011
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!
Thanks Midge! I'd love to hear your thoughts if you try it!
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.
gingerroot May 9, 2011
This sounds really lovely, ChezSuzanne!
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.
gingerroot May 9, 2011
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!