Cacio e Pepe feat. FAVA beans!

Cacio e Pepe feat. FAVA beans!

1 1/2 pounds fava bean pods, shucked (about 1/2 cup peeled favas) – remember shucking fava beans is a 2-step process, after blanching they will come out of the big pod easy..then you need to crack open the inner pod and take out the little green guys..bribe someone into helping you with a glass of wine..totally worth it!

½ pound spaghetti – Rustichella pasta is the best, unless you make your own fresh..then do that.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ tablespoon coarse ground black pepper

cup shredded Pecorino Romano, more for serving

½ cup grated Parmesan Reggiano

Coarse sea salt, to taste

Extra virgin olive oil, for serving

  1. Bring a medium saucepot of salted water to a boil. Fill a medium bowl with water and ice and set a fine mesh strainer in the bowl. (Be sure to keep ice out of strainer.) Blanch fava beans for 1 minute then transfer beans to strainer in ice bath. Let sit for 5 minutes and pull up strainer to drain.  When fava beans have been blanched and cooled, slip off both the outer and inner pods.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until 1 minute short of al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.
  3. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add pepper and sauté for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add 1/4 cup of the cooking water and the remaining butter to pan. Stir until butter is melted and sauce begins to thicken, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add cooked pasta, pecorino and parmesan reggiano and toss until cheese melts, about 30 seconds. Add fava beans. Toss very well to coat, adding more pasta water if pan seems dry. Season with salt to taste. To serve, sprinkle each portion with more pecorino and drizzle with olive oil.

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