Fava Bean Scampi

Time 15 minutes
Yields Serves 4.
Fava Bean Scampi
(Leslie Grow / For the Times)
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This recipe is a vegetarian spin on shrimp scampi in which meaty, sweet favas replace the similarly charactered crustaceans. A simple treatment–a little garlic, some chile flakes, a good dose of white wine and a refreshing hit of lemon–perfectly highlight the flavor of the time-intensive beans. To prepare the beans, see the Note below.

From the story: The Saturday Cook: Fava beans shine in a vegetarian spin on scampi


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chile flakes, and cook until beginning to brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the fava beans and wine, cover, and simmer until the beans are tender but still have a little bite to them, about 4 minutes.


While the favas cook, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water before you drain it.


Drain the pasta, and add it to the skillet along with the lemon zest and juice, and toss to combine, adding at least 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to make a loose sauce. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, and serve while hot.

How to prep fava beans: Start with about 5 pounds of fava beans in pods (any less is not worth all the trouble). Shuck the beans, discarding the pods. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the shucked fava beans in the boiling water and cook, stirring, to set their color and loosen their skins, about 1 minute. Drain the fava beans in a colander, then plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop their cooking. Once cool, drain again. Using your fingernail or point of a paring knife, pierce the outer skin of each bean and gently squeeze it to slip off the skin; discard the skins. You should have about 8 cups of peeled fava beans now.

If not using immediately, blanch them to store in the freezer: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with a large pinch of salt. Add the beans, return to the boil and cook until bright green, about 1 minute. Drain the beans and transfer to a large bowl of ice water. Let stand for 2 minutes then drain once more. Spread the bean out on kitchen towels or paper towels and let dry completely. Transfer to zip-top storage bags and freeze for up to 1 month.