Pasta with Fava Bean Pods (Pasta con Baccelli di Fave)

DSC09213
One thing I don’t like about fava beans is all the waste. The actual beans are only about 20-25% of the gross weight, and that is even before double-shelling them (i.e. remove the light-colored bitter membrane around the green tender inside). Thanks to Simona of Grembiule da Cucina I realised that you can also eat the pods, which make out 70-75% of the weight. It makes sense that traditionally, nothing was discarded and so also the fava pods were eaten.

Since the pods don’t have much flavor (their flavor is similar to that of French beans, but less pronounced), I decided to turn them into a pasta dish with pancetta, pecorino and fresh chilli pepper. The result was very nice, and a great way to use up fava bean pods. The actual fava beans will be used in tomorrow’s recipe. Here’s what I did with the pods…

Ingredients

DSC09178
For 2 servings

450 grams (1 lb) fava beans

150 grams (1/3 lb) penne pasta

1 clove garlic

1 Tbsp olive oil

60 grams (2 oz) pancetta, diced

1 chilli pepper, minced

freshly grated pecorino

salt

Preparation

DSC09180
Cut both ends off each fava bean, and remove the strings along the sides.

DSC09181
Open up the pods, and take out the beans that are inside. Reserve both beans and pods.

DSC09184
Reserve the beans for another use. Cut the pods into 5 cm (2″) pieces.

DSC09193
Bring a pot of water to a boil. When the water boils, add the pods.

DSC09194
Parcook the pods for 5 minutes. This helps to make them tender as well as keep their green color.

DSC09195
Reserve about 120 ml (1/2 cup) of the cooking water. Drain the pods and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking.

DSC09196
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the diced pancetta and garlic clove (left whole).

DSC09198
Cook over medium heat until the pancetta is starting to crisp. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

DSC09199
Lift the pancetta out of the pan with a slotted spoon and reserve. Discard the garlic.

DSC09200
Add the fava pods, season with salt, and stir for a minute.

DSC09201
Add the minced chilli pepper. It is up to you whether to include the seeds or not. (Richard, feel free to add more than a single chilli pepper if you like…)

DSC09202
When the water boils, add the pasta as well as salt and cook al dente according to package instructions.

DSC09205
Meanwhile, add the reserved fava pod cooking water…

DSC09206
…bring to a boil…

DSC09207
…cover, and allow to simmer over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. After those 10 minutes, only a bit of the liquid should remain.

DSC09208
After those 10 minutes, add the reserved pancetta to the pods.

DSC09209
Drain the pasta when it is al dente, and add it to the pods as well.

DSC09210
Add a handful of freshly grated pecorino cheese.

DSC09211
Toss to mix. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

DSC09213
Serve at once on preheated plates.

Flashback

DSC04831
About two years ago I posted another recipe to use up discards: pasta with chard stems ragù.

Advertisements

17 thoughts on “Pasta with Fava Bean Pods (Pasta con Baccelli di Fave)

  1. interesting, I didn’t know you can eat them either, BUT you are missing the most important bit – DID IT TASTE GOOD? I am all about minimising waste but hey if it doesn’t taste good not going there. I actually looked at this thinking – wow – stefan has posted a vegetarian dish, but then I spotted the bacon…have a great weekend

    Liked by 1 person

      1. just teasing you – sounds like the fava beans are ok – but nothing special, I think i’ll keep just eating the green bits – and if I had a compost heap I’d compost the rest…!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s