Here’s a delicious recipe inspired by the spring flavors of Sicily -fava beans, wild greens and mint all of which thrive on this rocky, rugged island. Can’t find favas? No problem, just substitute baby lima beans.
Lemony Pasta with Fava, Dandelion and Mint
Recipe Type: Main
Serves: 6 servings
- 12 ounces spaghetti
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cup olive oil
- 16 ounces tiny fresh fava beans, shelled (may substitute baby lima beans, fresh or frozen)
- 12 ounces dandelion greens, coarse lower stems removed and leaves cut diagonally into 3 inch pieces
- 2/3 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1 cup pistachios
- Strips of fresh Parmesan cheese for garnish
- Freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spread pistachios on a cookie sheet and cook until fragrant and lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes, Remove from oven, cool, then coarsely chop.
- In a food processor, mince the cloves of garlic, then add the lemon juice and salt. With the processor running, pour the olive oil into the bowl in a steady stream until all ingredients are blended.
- Heat two large pots with heavily salted water to boiling, one for the beans and dandelions and one for the pasta,.
- In the first pot of boiling water, blanch favas until just tender, 4-5 minutes. (Reserve the water to cook the dandelions.) With a slotted spoon, remove the favas, draining the beans as much as possilbe, and then place them in the bowl of the food processor with the olive oil mixture.
- Return the water to a boil, then add add the dandelions. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes until the stems are tender. Remove from the water, drain in a colander, then rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Gently press out the excess water.
- In the second pot, cook the spaghetti according to directions, around 10 minutes. Drain well.
- Return the drained spaghetti to the emptied pot. Add the olive oil/fava bean mixture, lemon zest and mint to the spaghetti and toss well. Taste for seasoning.
- Spoon the tossed spaghetti and fava beans into 6 large bowls or plates and place the the cooked dandelions on top. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios, slices of fresh parmesan cheese and freshly ground pepper.