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Fresh Pasta with Fava Beans and Pecorino Cheese

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4.7 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Joe
  • Yield: 2 main course servings 1x


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup prepared fava beans: shucked, blanched, shocked and peeled. (See note below.)
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 4 oz fresh pasta (fettuccine, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino cheese, plus for more serving


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. If available, use a pot with a removable strainer insert. IMPORTANT!! – What makes this dish successful is using the starchy cooking water left over from cooking the pasta in the dish, so if you have to drain the pasta in a strainer, reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the prepared fava beans and gently warm in the oil. Grind a little black pepper into the beans if you like.
  3. Drop the fresh pasta into the boiling water. When the pasta floats to the top, cook for AT MOST 1 minute and drain.
  4. Ladle some pasta water into the hot skillet containing the fava beans. Swirl around and then add the cooked drained pasta. Raising the heat to medium, continue to cook the pasta in the pan with the water and fava beans until most but not all of the water has been absorbed.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, add in most of the Pecorino Romano cheese (reserving some for serving at the table). Stir the pasta around to create a cheesy, starchy sauce.
  6. Serve and pass the remaining Pecorino.


Note: To prepare fresh favas, first remember that favas have two shells; yes! two. First free the individual fava beans from their pods. Shell them into a colander. Then bring a small pot of water with a little salt, big enough to hold the shelled favas, to a boil. Boil the favas for about 1 minute. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water. Once cool and taking each fava bean, free the bean from its individual shell. You will probably need to use a finger nail to start the peeling process. Fava beans can feel a bit slimy so rinse your hands and the beans as you go.