Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Fava Beans and Some Yummy Toast
Fava Beans ("fave" in italian) are abound at this time of year in Italy, or at least this part of Italy. They are at every market stand and every supermarket.
This was my first venture in working with fresh fava beans...
and the rumors are true: these guys are a true labor of love.
First, you peel back the pod to get the beans out, like for peas in a pod. But then you also have to peel the individual beans. If you were smart and decided to follow directions, you would blanch the beans before doing the second peeling to make it easier. I decided to waste the time fiddling with the outer skins while watching The Sopranos.
Turns out there's more than one reason for blanching the beans first. The quick boiling takes away a bit of the bitterness. The first time I cooked them, I just sauteed them and they were still a tad too bitter. Depending on the beans you buy and how long you keep them, they might always have a hint of bitterness, but blanching them quickly tempers it.
So this is how much I had after peeling one kilo of fava beans. I had to keep telling myself the price and time spent were totally worth it for the final product (spoiler: they were).
I decided to use them in pasta. Blanching them first and then cooking the pasta in the fava blanching water.
Then I sauteed the favas in oil, butter, salt, and pepper and added it to the drained pasta. Undercook the pasta slightly so that it can finish it's cooking in the fava bean sauce.
It was delicious!
Side note: I sincerely apologize for my picture-taking (or lack there of) abilities. I promise this food tastes good even though it doesn't look good. Now not only do I have no photo skills, but I eat off of paper plates in a very un-photogenic room.
Anyways, I made this toast after being inspired by this post on Smitten Kitchen.
I've always wanted to make a soft-boiled egg, and these directions were just simple enough. I boiled some water, dropped on egg in it for 6 minutes, and then pulled it out, pealed it, and smashed it over some toasted Pugliese bread. I topped the whole thing with a drizzle of olive oil, excellent aceto balsamico, grated Grana Padana cheese, salt, and pepper.