Terra di Toscana www.terraditoscana.com

Penne Primavera

(Pasta with Fava Beans and Spring Vegetables)

Don't feel constrained by the ingredients listed here, use your favorite pasta, along with the best seasonal vegetables.

1 pound penne, or pasta of your choice
2 pounds fresh fava beans, podded and blanched 1 minute
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for tossing pasta
1 red spring onion, peeled and diced
1 bunch baby carrots, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, and blanched 2 minutes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
6 zucchini flowers, cleaned and blanched 30 seconds

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta according
to package directions, until al dente. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta-cooking liquid. Toss the pasta with a little of the olive oil and set aside in a warm place.
Remove the outer shell from two-thirds of the largest fava beans by pinching off the end and squeezing the brightly colored bean out. Leave about one-third of the smallest beans in their outer shell.
In a large saute pan, heat the oil and saute the onion for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Add 1 cup of the pasta-cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce over high heat by one-half, then lower the heat to a simmer; add the carrots and the peeled and unpeeled fava beans. Heat 3 to 4 minutes, until vegetables are warmed through. Season with salt and pepper.
Toss the vegetable mixture with the pasta and turn into a warmed serving bowl. Stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano, garnish with the zucchini flowers, and serve at once.
Serves 6

Picture by Joyce Dudkerk-Pool


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