Recipes at Sound Food

Fava beans with chard and pasta

Reprinted from Eating Small Potatoes

Have you ever cooked with fava beans? I bought them for the first time at the market a couple of weeks ago. Wow! They’re my new favorite summer vegetable. Don’t be scared by the ugly green pods – you’ll find a bright, green, happy bean inside. Buy more pods than you think you’ll need. There’s a lot of packaging for this veggie.

First, they’ll need a little maintenance:
Preparing the beans for cooking is a two-step process.

   1. Shuck the beans. Slide the beans out of their pods. First snap off the stem and pull away the tough string, then break open the pods.
   2. Skin the beans. Drop the beans into boiling water for one minute. Then, plunge in ice cold water and drain. Squeeze the beans between your fingers and they should pop out of their skin (if not, use your fingernail to help it get started.)

As a simple side dish:
Prepare the beans for cooking. Melt a little butter in a pan over medium. Gently stir the fava beans constantly until they begin to sizzle and turn slightly brown. Toss with salt and pepper. Leftover beans can be tossed on a salad.

Read on for a little pasta dish to get you started:
3 tbls olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 onion or whole shallot, chopped finely
2 cups shelled fava beans
1/2 cup prosciutto (yah, you’ll have to cheat and go to the store for this one)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup cream
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 cups thinly sliced chard with stems removed (choose green; red will make your sauce pink)
1 pound pasta
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Heat oil and saute garlic, red pepper, onion, and prosciutto. Reduce to medium and cook for about 5 minutes. Toss in the fava beans for an additional minute. Stir in the wine, boil, and reduce for two minutes. Add the stock, cream, and seasonings. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chard and cook for about 2 more minutes. Pour the sauce over your pasta and toss in the cheese.

And, if you haven’t got your pasta fix yet, try this simpler recipe. (We just recently made this one. Fresh market tomatoes make it so good. We’re also lucky to have some locally made sausage from pastured pigs.)

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