Ingredients: Per 4 servings
- 3 eggs
- 10 oz all-purpose flour
- 2 lb broad beans, small
- 1 onion
- 6 leaves of mint
- 10oz canned tomatoes
- 3 ½ oz prosciutto cotto (cooked ham)
- 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Pour the flour out onto a dry work surface and form a well. Add the eggs to the center of the well and work the eggs into the flour until you have a smooth dough. Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.
Roll out the dough, using a rolling pin or pasta machine, into 1/10 inch thick sheets. Cut the sheets into ¾ inch thick ribbons, then cut the ribbons into ¾ inch wide squares. Let the pasta dry on a floured cutting board.
Blanch the sheeled fava beans in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and rinse in cold running water. Remove the thin peel from every bean.
Chop the mint and the onion.
Place a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add the oil and, once it is hot, add the chopped mint and onion. Cook for 5 minutes without letting the onion brown.
Then add the diced prosciutto, a cup of water, peeled tomatoes with their liquid and the peeled favas.
Cook over low heat for about an hour adding a couple drops of hot water it the sauce begins to dry out. When done cooking, adjust the salt and pepper.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Drain, toss with the sauce and serve.
It is very likely that fava beans originated in the Mediterranean basin. Traces of fava beans were found in modern-day Israel that date back 8,000 years. Even in Europe, fava beans have been grown since ancient times. Aristophanes believed that favas were Hercules’ favorite food and that beans gave him the energy for his romantic affairs. Varro, however, sustained in his book “De rustica” that the beans could commonly be found in ancient Rome even though they were believed to be hard to digest. Favas could be found throughout Mediterranean Europe until the discovery of America in the 15th century when slowly New World beans began to appear.
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