Fava beans and peas with bucatini in black pepper and cheese

Favas, peas and bucatini in pepper and parmesan

Favas, peas and bucatini in pepper and parmesan

The simplicity of this buttery sauce enhances the sweet fresh favas and peas. The basil kicks it all up a notch. Favas take some work, you first have to shuck them from their spongey pods and then blanche them to remove their soft shells. Luckily, I did this with family and had help with all the pea and bean shucking. Then it only takes a minute to combine all the ingredients and the result is so rewarding.

Thanks to Everblossom farm manager, Vallie, and our farmer’s market customer for suggesting this dish. If there is something you want to see, please let me know.

1 pint snow peas

1/2 pound English pea pods, shucked (about 1 cup peas)

1 1/4 pounds fava bean pods, shucked (about 1 cup peeled favas)

1 pound bucatini or thick spaghetti

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 tablespoon very coarsely ground black pepper

1 cup grated Parmesan, more for serving

Coarse kosher sea salt, to taste

Extra virgin olive oil, for serving

Freshly chopped basil leaves for garnish

1. Bring a medium saucepot of salted water to a boil. Fill a medium bowl with water and ice. Blanch peas (both kinds) for 30 seconds and use a slotted spoon to transfer peas to strainer in ice bath. Let sit for 5 minutes and pull up strainer to drain peas. Repeat process with fava beans, cooking for 1 minute. (You can use same pot of boiling water that you used for peas.) When fava beans have been blanched and cooled, slip off peels.

blanched favas in ice-water bath

blanched favas in ice-water bath

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water.

3. In a large skillet, melt butter. Add pepper and sauté for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Stir until sauce begins to thicken, about 30 seconds.

4. Add cooked pasta, pecorino and Parmesan and toss until cheese melts, about 30 seconds. Add peas and fava beans. Toss very well to coat, adding more pasta water if pan seems dry. Season with salt to taste. To serve, sprinkle each portion with more pecorino and drizzle with olive oil. Mix in and garnish with basil.

Parmesan and a Lark Rise baguette ready for the main event

Parmesan and a Lark Rise baguette ready for the main event

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