PASTA CON LE PRIME FAVE – Pasta with Fava beans

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This simple pasta dish of braised fresh favas was served to us many years ago when we visited The Regaleali Vineyards in Sicily. My doubting friends became converts to this spring bean after tasting this dish.

If the favas are very young, they do not have to have their outer skin removed. The skin on older favas is tough and does have to be peeled. This can easily be done by removing the beans from their pod, dropping them into boiling water for a minute and simply slipping off the outer skin.

This dish serves 4 as a first course.


  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 C. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 C. fresh fava beans (1 1/2 lb. of pods)
  • S & P
  • 1/2 C. water
  • 3 T. Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. spaghetti


Sauté the onion in the olive oil until golden. Add the favas, salt and pepper to taste, and the water. Cover and simmer over low heat until tender, 10-15 minutes. While the beans are cooking, cook 1/2 pound of spaghetti in a large amount of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and toss with the fava bean mixture. Serve immediately.

“adapted from The Flavors of Sicily by Anna Tasca Lanza”

Fresh fava beans available in season at:
Alba Produce
18 Parmenter St.
Boston’s North End