Fava beans are in season! And they are still tender enough that you don’t have to do that thing where you par-boil them and then peel them a second time. That’s tedious, and who has time for it, anyway? Also, in honor of Hannibal Lecter, since this dish has fava beans in it, I recommend having it with a nice chianti.
Farfalle with Fava Beans, Pancetta, and Mushrooms
4 oz pancetta, cubed
Olive Oil, as needed (see below)
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp sal
1.2 lb portobellos, cubed
1.5 lbs fava beans, shelled and rinsed (1.5 lbs before shelling)
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
Dash red pepper flakes, if desired
1/2 lb farfalle, cooked al dente in salted water
Freshly grated parmesan for the top
- Place pancetta in large heavy sauce pan and brown slightly over medium heat.
- Remove pancetta from pan, and set aside.
- If you are not concerned with healthy vs unhealthy fats and would like to incorporate the deliciousness of the pancetta juices into your sauce, leave the pancetta juice in the pan and caramelize your onions in that, adding a drizzle of olive oil if you do not have enough pancetta oil in the pan to coat the onions.
- If you ARE concerned with healthy fats and would like to forgo the deliciousness of the pancetta juices, remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon, discard the juices, and drizzle some olive oil in the pan for onion caramelization.
- When the onions are transparent, add the garlic.
- Just as the onions begin to brown, add the pancetta back into the pot. Stir frequently as everything caramelizes.
- Add the mushrooms, fava beans, and spices.
- Stir, and then cover the pot.
- Stir occasionally as the mushrooms get juicy and saucy.
- When the mushrooms are tender and there’s liquid in the pan (from the mushrooms), keep the pot covered and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add chicken broth or water if you need extra liquid (i.e. if it evaporates). The idea is to steam the fava beans in the juices from the other ingredients, but if those juices cook off, you might need to add extra liquid.
- Cook your pasta, drain your pasta, then put the pasta in the pot with the sauce, stir everything together, dish up, and top with parmesan.
I have a lot of this left over from the smoked ribs party we had yesterday, and I am planning on making ricotta tonight, so I’m working on a baked pasta solution that incorporates this and the fresh ricotta…I’ll let you know how it goes.