The Country Cooking of Italy's Favas with Pecorino


[Photograph: Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer]

We have to say that when Colman Andrews describes an impromptu Roman picnic of salami, cherries, favas and pecorino in The Country Cooking of Italy, it's pretty darn romantic. The man has a wonderful ability to make you feel as though you're basking in the Italian springtime sunshine, enjoying every moment.

But lucky for those of us without Roman vacation plans, Colman has approximated this picnic dish in The Country Cooking of Italy. Sweet and nutty, briefly blanched and peeled favas are tossed with salty bits of crumbled young pecorino and drizzled with olive oil. Simple? Well sure, but this snack is really all about the simplicity and goodness of the ingredients. A pattern that we'll see repeated all this week cooking our way through this book.

What Worked: Sweet spring favas play off tangy percorino brilliantly, each possessing its own distinct nuttiness.

What Didn't: No complaints here. We could snack on this stuff tutto il giorno.

Suggested Tweaks: Favas are fleeting, but if you catch 'em in time, be sure to pair 'em up with at least a cheese or two.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Country Cooking of Italy to give away.