This pasta! Oh my goodness, so so good. This recipe for Cacio e Pepe with Fava Beans is simple and delicious. Cacio e Pepe, if unfamiliar, means cheese and pepper, and believe it or not, it’s is super flavorful. Now, I just want to say before I continue, if you live somewhere where fava beans are not an option, please still try this recipe. Use fresh peas or edamame, or just leave them out, the pasta is really that good, completely unadorned. And you don’t have to make your pasta from scratch, but it’s a fun project if you get the time, and the pasta is so light and flavorful . Use a good quality romano cheese (or parmesan, or both, but I prefer Romano in this) and you are good to go. Give your kids or spouse the fava bean pods to peel while they are watching their favorite tv show and you’ll cut your prep time in half.
Several months ago while in Italy for a food photography workshop, I took a detour with a couple of friends and went to the little cliffside town of Positano, on the Amalfi Coast. While there, surprisingly fava beans were in season, ( so early!) and a small restaurant we loved featured them in a fresh pasta dish. I’ve been dreaming about that pasta ever since and waiting for the fava beans to arrive here. Finally, they appeared at the farmers market the other day…so exciting! Yes, I go a little crazy over them.
I used this recipe for the pasta and was happy with it.
Have a wonderful weekend!
- 2 pounds fava bean pods, shucked (makes about 1 cup peeled favas)
- ½ pound linguini or spaghetti ( to make fresh pasta see notes below)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ tablespoon very coarsely ground black pepper
- ½ cup shredded pecorino Romano, more for serving
- Salt to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil, for serving
- chili flakes or aleppo pepper ( optional)
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil ( to blanch fava beans)
- Fill a bowl with water and ice and set a strainer over top
- Blanch fava beans in salted boiling water for for 1 minute, then drain, and place in ice water bath to cool. When cooled, slip off the outer skin.
- Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook to al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup cooking water.
- While the pasta is boiling,melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet. Add pepper and sauté for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add ¼ cup of the cooking water and the remaining butter to pan. Stir until butter is melted and sauce begins to thicken, about 30 seconds.
- Add the cooked pasta, grated pecorino and toss until cheese melts, about 30 seconds. Add fava beans. Toss to coat, adding more pasta water if it seems dry. Season with salt to taste. To serve, sprinkle each portion with more pecorino and drizzle with olive oil.
- Notes: Want to make your pasta? I love this recipe