Orecchiette with Fresh Fava Beans and Soy Ricotta Sauce

31 05 2009
Orecchiette with Fava Beans

Orecchiette with Fava Beans

I found Fava beans at the farmers market last weekend and brought them home with no particular plan in mind. One trip to the internet turned up this recipe: Orecchiette with Fresh Fava Beans, Ricotta, and Shredded Mint. Which sounded perfect because the Sous Chef had left over Soy Ricotta and I had just bought a huge bundle of mint as well.  AND it sounded really good.  On paper it was perfect. In real life not exactly perfect.

The sous chef didn’t have quite enough of her home made soy ricotta left and on top of that it was more on the bland side than not.  It worked great for its original use but as a sole sauce I was a bit concerned that it would cut it. So I googled around and found a recipe for soy ricotta also made out of strained soy yogurt. Which also seemed to work out well because I had a jar of cashew butter in my fridge already.  So today I started to strain another cup or so of yogurt but I only did it an hour earlier.  I ended up trying to “force” some of the water out and instead just pushed all the yogurt through. Oops! But since the recipe called for adding water back in I decided the liquid was ok and one we went. Since we are on the sauce I will finish that one out I guess.  I added a splash of my mint syrup which was now the owner of all my mint which added to much sugar to the sauce. It was really sweet so I added some more lemon juice to balance it out.  Overall the sauce was a really good base for a cream sauce on pasta as the sous chef pointed out later.  It was a bit on the tangy side (comment from my roommate) and full of flavor.  I don’t think I hit a home run with this one but it is a great place to keep building from.

Now for the other third of the recipe: Fava Beans.  I bought 1.5 lbs at the maket and after shucking them we got about 1 cup of beans. 

1 cup of beans and the giant Fava bean pods

1 cup of beans and the giant Fava bean pods

Fava beans come in rather large pods. That cutting board is probably around 8″ wide where the bean is laying across it.  Before I read the recipe carefully I was already worried about the amount of beans being on the skimpy side.  After shucking them I even more concerned.  Many of the beans were quite small only about 1/3 of them were the really giant fava been size I was used to. Then I read the ingredients and I got even more worried. We had to boil them for about 2-3 minutes and then remove their outer waxy shell. There goes more beans.  In the end we got about 1/3 of a cup of beans:

The edible parts that are left!

The edible parts that are left!

And about 2/3 cups of waxy outer beans:

Waxy Outer Bean Casings

Waxy Outer Bean Casings

In the ned the beans were really good but there not enough of them for the amount of pasta I had made.  There also seemed to be to much sauce so I held back on that as well.  The pasta shape was right on for holding the beans and the slightly to sweet sauce.  A good meal that had I put some more time into it could have been a great meal.  But with leftovers in hand I’m certain at lunch tomorrow I will not care if it was better because good is still durn worth it.




One response

1 06 2009

Agreed. I think this is a great recipe that just needs more attention next time. Also since I really like cream sauces I’m glad to know a soy-based one is relatively easy once you figure out the flavoring!

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