Spaghetti with Fava Beans and Ricotta: Spaghetti con Fave e Ricotta

Spaghetti with Fava Beans and RicottaYou know it’s Spring when you start seeing Fava Beans at the Farmers Market. These beans, as good as they taste, must be the biggest pain in the neck to prepare; but it’s worth it. You will need about 1 pound of raw beans for every two people.

Alternative, you can seek out frozen fava beans in specialty grocery stores; but what would be the point.

Recipe for 4 people.


  • 2 pounds fresh Fava Beans or 1 16-ounce package of frozen Fava Beans (see Note for fresh Favas)
  • 1 pound of dried spaghetti or use the same amount of fresh fettucine if you like
  • 1 cup fresh grated ricotta salata (about 6 ounces); extra for sprinkling
  • 4 tablespoons high quality oil olive; extra for drizzling
  • Freshly ground pepper

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 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.


Add some salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (if using hard pasta, cook to 1 minute less of the package directions).

When done, drain the pasta and place in a large warm bowl. Reserve the pasta cooking water. Add the fava beans, olive oil, ricotta salata and freshly ground pepper. Combine with 2 spoons adding some pasta water if the mixture is too dry (and it probably will be).

Serve in individual bowls, adding additional grated ricotta salata, drizzling with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Join the Conversation

  1. Joe this made a terrific lunch but, damn those fava beans are a pain in the ass to prepare.

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