Orecchiette with Ricotta, Fava Beans, and Mint

(recipe, Nigel Slater)

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  1. 2 lb. fava beans in their pods
  2. 2 cups pasta, such as orecchiette
  3. 2 cloves garlic
  4. 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  5. A small bunch of mint
  6. 1¼ cups ricotta cheese
  7. 2 to 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  8. ⅔ cup grated pecorino cheese


  1. Pop the beans from their pods (you should end up with about 2 cups) and cook them in deep boiling salted water until tender. (Seven to 10 minutes should do it.) Drain the beans, rinse under cold running water, and remove the skin from any beans bigger than your thumbnail. Tiny beans will have a thin skin that is perfectly edible.
  2. Bring a large, deep pot of water to a boil and add the pasta. It should be ready after about 9 minutes, depending on the type.
  3. Peel and finely slice the garlic. Put it in a shallow pan with the olive oil and let it soften over moderate heat without coloring. Remove the mint leaves from their stems and chop them roughly, then stir them into the softening garlic. Tip in the beans and then the ricotta, in dollops. Add the drained pasta and fold the mixture together lightly with a fork.
  4. Divide between 2 warmed pasta bowls and drizzle generously with extra-virgin olive oil and grated pecorino.


Culinate editor's notes: If fresh favas aren't available, try frozen edamame instead. Use any soft, fresh green herb you like (such as parsley or basil) in place of the mint. And try soft goat cheese and Parmesan instead of ricotta and pecorino.