Fresh Broad Beans Pasta served with cured pancetta, olive oil, and truffled pecorino is the perfect spring dish. A delicate mix of ingredients to highlight the little brother of Fava beans.
This Broad Beans Pasta recipe is my ultimate spring dish; this time of the year in Spain is the beginning of this delicate and sweet fava/broad beans season. This pasta dish looks easy on the eyes, but collecting each bean from the pods is quite labour-intensive. Rest assured; the end result pays back!
Are Fava and Board Beans the Same?
Yes! They are. Although we call fava the dried version, which turns darker, the board bean is the bean collected from the fresh and green pod.
The beans are doubly protected (as seen above), first by the pod measuring about 20cm long, which contains about eight beans. This shell is comestible and could be fried and consumed, although if you want the sweet and tender part of the beans, you’ll have to open them up one by one. Yes, you’ll get sore fingers after a batch, but rest assured, the extra work is well worth it!
This flavour is exquisite, although not powerful, so you’ll have to go soft on the extras not to overpower the fine beans’ taste. After all that work… better make them the protagonist of the plate, no?
Dry Egg Fettuccine
As for the pasta, I’ve used dry egg fettuccine that comes in a nested form. I like those pastas; to me, they are top-notch, almost equivalent to fresh handmade pasta. Flat large pasta usually is used with heavy sauce like Ragu, but here you’ll get a simple touch of olive oil to appreciate them fully. Those kinds of pasta feel fluffier and lighter than standard dried pasta and look exquisite on a plate.
For the extras, a nice cured pancetta with black pepper and truffled pecorino to make the dish “one of a kind.” Of course, you are free to use any pancetta or pecorino; however, those little extras are simply fantastic! Pecorino is quite similar to parmesan, although made out of sheep milk which tastes slightly different, and its texture is flakier and softer. As for the pancetta, I’ve used a cured one, which doesn’t need to be cooked… although I’ve warmed it up in the pan. You could also use fresh pancetta and rapidly sauté it in the pan with some olive oil!
Pecorino is a tad more delicate than parmesan, in my opinion, but both could work here. As for the pancetta, a few bits of bacon could replace the pancetta but a delicate type, not too smoky otherwise, you’ll overpower the beans. Even a simple cooked ham cut into bits would do here, or nothing at all would too!
Other Spring Dishes
Broad Beans Pasta with Pancetta
- 250 g broad beans pods
- 200 g fettucine egg pasta (or your favorite type)
- 20 g cured pancetta (cut into small cubes)
- 1/4 spring onion (Finely chopped)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Pecorino Romano (truffled version even better)
- Start by; peeling all the fresh broad beans one by one, keeping only the vivid green parts.
- Add the spring onion to a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil and salt and cook at medium-low heat until softened.
- During that time, cook the fettuccine in a big pot of salted boiling water (be careful they take less time to cook than regular dry pasta).
- Add the pancetta to the onion and cook for another minute or two.
- Add the broad beans to the pan and cook until warm (1-2 minutes); reserve.
- Drain the pasta and immediately add two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.
- Mix the beans and the pasta, add to the plates and finish it with a few shaved pecorino pieces on top with a sprinkle of salt.