Orecchiette with Fava and Spring Pesto

Orecchiette with Fava and Spring Pesto
Author of "Eating My Way Through Italy," Elizabeth Minchilli is making a mouth-watering Italian dish.

Ingredients for Pesto

  • 1 cup Fresh Mint Leaves
  • ½ cup Fresh Flat leaf Parsley Leaves
  • Zest of 1 Lemon, finely chopped (only the zest, carefully taken off with a vegetable peeler)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup Peeled, Raw Almonds
  • ½ cup Fruity EVOO
  • ½ cup Grated Ricotta Salata
  • Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Ingredients for the Pasta

  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Spring Garlic Stalks
  • 1 pound Orecchiette
  • 3 cups Shelled fresh Fava Beans
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • Ricotta Salata Cheese


1. Place the mint, parsley, dill, lemon zest, and garlic in the food processor. Puree until well chopped. Add the almonds and puree until smooth. WIth the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Scrape the mixture out into a small bowl, and mix in the grated cheese by hand. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

2. In a saucepan, gently heat the olive oil. Add the chopped spring garlic and let cook briefly over gentle heat. Add shelled fava beans ( in Italy, no one takes them out of their skin, just the large pod) and stir. Add the salt and about ½ cup of water, cover, and let cook just until tender. Keep tasting for doneness; they shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.

3. In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until done. Drain, reserving some of the cooking water.

4. Place the pasta in a large serving bowl, add the fava beans, and stir gently. Add the pesto and stir gently, using a bit of the cooking water to loosen things up. When the pesto is well distributed, add the grated ricotta salata and lemon zest, stirring some in, but also letting some sit on the top since the white is so pretty against the green.

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