Each year I look forward to fresh fava beans out of the garden. We have about a two-week time period in June when they are ripe. We remove them from the pod, blanch them for two minutes or so, then skin them. Years ago, when we visited my relatives in Sicily, they served us marinated fresh fava beans from their garden. It was so simple, yet delicious; just oil, garlic, a touch of vinegar and salt and pepper. I have cooked fava beans many different ways, including for pasta with tomatoes and sausage, but they seem to me somewhat starchy when cooked for any length of time. This method of marinating fava beans involves heating oil and garlic together and, when the garlic is fragrant, pouring the oil and garlic over blanched beans, then seasoning to taste with a bit of vinegar, salt, pepper, and some hot pepper flakes. They are just barely cooked, and so have a fresh texture. You can eat them as is or spooned on some bread. They can be part of an antipasto platter as well. If you keep the Fava beans warm and eliminate the vinegar, you can make a delicious pasta dish by just pouring the marinated favas over hot macaroni and topping with parsley and a few dollops of fresh homemade ricotta. It is a lovely, summer pasta dish.
Marinated Fava Beans
2 c. cooked and peeled fava beans
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar or more to taste
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
In a small saucepan combine oil and garlic. Turn the heat to medium low and let the garlic cook to become soft and fragrant, but not brown. It should only take 1-2 minutes. Pour over fava beans and toss. Season to taste with vinegar, salt, pepper and Aleppo pepper. Serve warm or refrigerate. Makes 2 cups.
Cook elbow macaroni until al dente. Pour warm marinated Fava beans over hot macaroni. Toss. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Taste and add salt if needed. Serve with dollops of fresh ricotta cheese. Serves 4.