As the season wanes for kale, Brussel sprouts and root vegetables, I am so excited for fresh Springtime flavors! I’m ready to give wintry roasted sheet pan dinners a rest and move along to bright lively flavors – and of course, the cheerful crisp rosé wines to go along with them.
As a non-meat eater, “Pasta Primavera” is often an ideal option on the Primi Piatti menu at an Italian restaurant. But there’s something I want to clear up: Pasta Primavera is not synonymous with pasta and vegetables for sauce – we’re focused on spring vegetables here, such as the ones in the vocabulary list above.
What is your favorite spring vegetable? It’s hard to pick one, but this year I’m going for fava beans. Fave are delicious both as fresh beans for salads and pastas as well as dried for soups (think of a lentil soup style, but creamier). They might remind you of lima beans, but they are unique in their flavors, consistency and culinary usage. For starters, fava beans have a firmer texture than limas, are higher in protein and lower in calories (not as starchy as limas) and should certainly be sought after while in their peak season!
Below is a recipe for a true Pasta Primavera, with a generous amount of fava beans. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!
Are you ready to go back to Italy (who isn’t)? I’m here to teach you some Italian or help freshen up your skills before you take off!
Can’t make it back to Italy just yet? How about a class on Italian wines for the Spring? Discover all the fresh, minerally, floral, fruity flavors of Italian summer wines that will make you want to jump into the Mediterranean!
Ingredients for 4:
250g pasta (any shape)
150g fava beans
Chop the white parts of the leeks, sauté in butter in a skillet until soft. Add salt and pepper and set aside.
Chop the asparagus while heating up a large pot of salted water. First cook the asparagus, peas and fresh fava beans for 7-8 minutes with the leeks.
Once water is boiling, cook your pasta until al dente (usually 3 minutes less than what the cook time listed on the package) drain and add to the veggies in the skillet along with a spoonful of the pasta water.
Cook on the skillet for another few minutes, until the water as mostly evaporated, add some lemon juice and zest, finish with a couple heaping spoonfuls of parmigiano cheese. Add more salt and pepper to taste – fresh herbs such as chives, parsley, basil or a few shakes of crushed red pepper would also be tasty!