I bought fava beans at the coop late last week with no real idea of how to use them. Or what they tasted like. Or the fact that you have to peel them twice. All I knew was that I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to figure out what the heck I could do with them.
A little internet research later, and I’d hit on this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. In addition to being seasonal and lovely, it paired a new ingredient – the favas – with things we already had on hand – garlic and onion, tomatoes canned last summer, a package of sausage from our pig. If I’d been more ambitious, I would’ve made pasta from scratch, but we stocked up on the dried stuff a few weeks ago, so we used small shells, an appropriate shape for catching the beans and sausage.
Apart from the double peeling of the favas, this dinner was proof that complex flavors don’t always necessitate hard work. While the pasta water came to a boil, I sauteed the garlic and onion, then browned the sausage in the same pan. While the pasta boiled, a bit of white wine simmered away, and then tomatoes and favas were added to the pan. From start to finish, this recipe took about 30 minutes, and then we were treated to a bites of pasta cradling the nutty favas, savory crumbled sausage, and a delicate garlicky-wine sauce.
We’re out of favas now, but if I see more at the coop, you’d better believe I’ll be snapping them up. We were both surprised by how much we liked this simple dish in general, and the favas in particular. Perhaps we’ll do a Moroccan broad bean salad? Smashed beans on toast? Broad beans and pancetta? So many recipes to try, and so few favas to eat. Summer, you can’t come soon enough.