Fettuccine with Fava Beans

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


Fresh young fava beans signal the beginning of spring and all its glory. For best results, add hot pasta to fava beans just as they finish cooking.


  • 2 lb. fresh favas
  • 12 head escarole, white stems broken off and discarded
  • 14 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced
  • 4 oz. pancetta, chopped
  • 1 lb. dried fettuccine
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated pecorino romano


Step 1

Shell favas, then blanch in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, drain, and slip off skins. (If favas are very young, as they often are in Italy, this step is not necessary.)

Step 2

Wash leaves of escarole, pat dry, and tear into large pieces.

Step 3

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and pancetta, and cook until pancetta begins to brown, about 7 minutes.

Step 4

Meanwhile, begin cooking fettuccine in a large pot of boiling salted water. Add favas and escarole to pancetta, and cook until beans are tender, about 5 minutes.

Step 5

When pasta is al dente, drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Add pasta and reserved pasta water to fava mixture. Toss over heat, season with salt and pepper, and add pecorino romano.

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