Pasta with Fava Beans, Mint, and Ricotta

Source: CUESA’s Market Chef, Sarah Henkin (June 9, 2009).

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This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Foodwise Booth on June 9, 2009.

Serves 4


2 pounds fava beans in their pods
8 stems mint, leaves picked
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 teaspoons chili flake
6 ounces fresh ricotta, drained if necessary
2 ounces parmasean cheese, grated
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
1 pound pasta shells or orechiette, if available


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In the meantime, remove favas from their pods. Blanch favas for 2-5 minutes, depending on their size. Run favas under cold water and set aside to cool. Bring water back up to a boil and blanch ¾ of the mint leaves until wilted, then remove. Maintain the boil to cook the pasta.

  2. Remove outer shell from the favas. Reserve about ¼ of the beans for garnish. Heat a pan over medium heat, add olive oil and, when shimmery, garlic and chili flakes. Fry until garlic begins to color and add fava beans and blanched mint. Stir to combine all ingredients, take off heat. Place the fava mixture in a food processor or mortar and pestle. Pulse or grind until you have a thick paste. Add the ricotta and parmasean and puree or grind until fully incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Cook the pasta until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, thinly slice the reserved mint leaves for garnish. Add the fava mixture to a pan large enough to hold the pasta and heat over a low temperature, then add a bit of the pasta water to loosen. When the pasta is finished cooking, well and add to the pan. Stir to coat with fava mixture. Serve with reserved whole favas and mint leaves as garnish, along with more chili flake if desired.


Farmers Market Ingredients