Archive for May, 2010

I think I have made up for my food blog neglect with preparing one of the most labor intensive dishes I’ve ever made.  This dish was really good and it makes a ton, so it was worth the work.  Shelling that many favas takes a while, but my DVR was filled with Glee and the Good Wife, so I set to work shelling while catching up.

Ravioli Stuffed with Fava Beans, Ricotta, and Mint
Recipe by Martha Stewart

Makes about 3-4 dozen

3 cups shelled fresh fava beans (3 pounds in pods)
10 ounces ricotta cheese, drained in a sieve (I used homemade)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Coarse salt

Pasta Dough – I used the recipe that came with my Kitchenaid pasta attachment


Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add beans. Cook approximately 1-2 minutes.  Drain and run under cold water to cool.  Remove the beans from the skin. 

Place about 2 cups of the beans in the food processor and pulse.   Add the parmesan and ricotta, mint, lemon juice, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Process until smooth. Refrigerate filling at least 1 hour (up to 2 days).   At this point, it would be a really yummy spread.

Roll out the dough however you prefer.  If you’ve got the Kitchenaid attachment, I rolled mine out to the 5th setting.

Dust 2 rimmed baking sheets with cornmeal or flour and set aside.  Place 1 piece of pasta sheet on a lightly floured work surface (keep unused pieces covered). Space heaping tablespoons of filling  evenly across the sheet.  Using a wet pastry brush, moisten pasta around each mound of filling. Fold top half of sheet over filling to meet edge; press around mounds to eliminate air and to seal.

Cut pasta into 2 1/2- to 3-inch squares and place on dusted baking sheets.  Roll out remaining pasta dough, and repeat. (If serving that day, cover ravioli with plastic wrap, and refrigerate on baking sheets until ready to use. If making ahead, freeze on baking sheets until firm, about 1 hour, and then transfer to an airtight container; freeze until ready to use, up to 1 month.)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt.  Cook at a gentle boil until ravioli are just tender, 3 to 5 minutes.  Transfer to a colander using a slotted spoon; drain.  

To serve, I heated a couple tablespoons of butter and a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and added the remaining fava beans.  I gently tossed in some of the ravioli and served it up with grated parmesan.  I enjoyed the fruits of my labor with a Napa Sauvignon Blanc – perfection.

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I’m alive!

I’ve had a busy few weeks – a trip to Vegas, getting settled in at a new-ish job, adapting to a Mac for said new-ish job, watching my husband graduate business school, and a million other things.  As a result, I haven’t been cooking as much and the cooking I’ve been doing has mostly been grabbing random spring produce and tossing with pasta or on pizza.  Delicious but there’s only so much I can say about tossing penne with stuff from my fridge.  Things aren’t quite back to normal now, but I did make something yummy today, so I figured it was about time I stopped neglecting my blog.

I’ve been picking up a lot of fava beans lately from the farmers market and I really like them.   I bought a big bag yesterday morning and couldn’t wait to do something with them.  I kept things simple and just mashed them into a spread – delicious on fresh bread.

One word of warning – favas are a huge pain to shell, because the edible portion is buried under two layers, but its worth it because they taste delicious.

Fava Bean Spread
makes about 1 cup

2 pounds fava beans
Minced green garlic, about 1 teaspoon or so
4 or 5 mint leaves, minced
1/4 cup of olive oil or so
salt and pepper to taste

Remove the fava beans from the large shell. 


Bring a pot of water to boil and add the beans.  Simmer for about a minute, drain, and run under cold water to stop the cooking.  Slip the darker bean part out from the slippery lighter green skin.   Discard the skin.

Add the favas, mint, garlic, and salt and pepper to a food processor.  Give it a quick whiz then add the olive oil.  Continue to pulse, adding more olive oil if needed, until it reaches the desired texture.  Add more salt and pepper if necessary and you are good to go.

I spread mine on some fresh bread and topped with some shaved parmesan.

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