Dinner Tonight: Bucatini with Fava Beans Recipe

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Dinner Tonight: Bucatini with Fava Beans Recipe

Some of my favorite bowls of pasta in New York come from a restaurant called Franny's, even though they're more famous for their pizzas. All of the pastas have a wonderful simplicity and this marvelous richness that eludes me. Last week they served a Bucatini alla Gricia with Fava Beans that I was eager to recreate at homeā€”but I had no idea how to make it taste quite so transcendent.

Incidentally, Franny's just released a newsletter with a recipe for linguine with ramps. We've already covered that territory on Dinner Tonight, so I replaced the ramps with fava beans while retaining the curious cooking technique that may be the secret to the pasta's deliciousness: the barely undercooked bucatini goes into the skillet with whatever vegetables you have going, then a knob of butter is added with a little of the pasta cooking water. Swirled with tongs, the noodles continue to cook and give off starch, which marries with the butter to create a rich sauce. I finished it off the heat with a handful of Pecorino cheese for a very satisfying bowl of pasta.

  • Yield:4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bucatini
  • 1 pound fava beans (weight including pods—about 15-20)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Freshly grated Pecorino
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. 1.

    Bring two pots of water to boil, both salted. In the meantime, split the fava bean pods and remove the beans within. Prepare a bowl filled with ice water, then blanch the beans for about 2 minutes. Remove to the ice bath, then slip off the skins to reveal the bright green bean within.

  2. 2.

    Cook the bucatini until 1-2 minutes before al dente.

  3. 3.

    Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and sautee the garlic until fragrant and soft. Add the fava beans and a splash of water and cook gently until the beans are tender. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. 4.

    Add the drained pasta to the skillet along with the butter and a little pasta water. Toss to combine, then swirl the pasta around the skillet for a few minutes until the pasta finishes cooking and a sauce has formed.

  5. 5.

    Remove the pasta to bowls, top with grated cheese and serve immediately. Finish with olive oil or pasta water if too dry.