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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.

1

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2

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.

3

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.

4

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. Use them immediately or put them in a zip-top storage bag and freeze for up to 1 month.