A spring-flavoured pasta

Fava beans, fresh peas and mint is a combination made in heaven! If you pair it with a white cheese like ricotta or feta then you cross a point of no return. You will find yourself going back to these fellows over and over again and, as long as your veggies are good, you will never be disappointed. Not once.

The possibilities are endless: in a bruschetta, risotto (maybe with some asparagus tips to join the spring party), frittata, salad (couscous, quinoa, bulgur...) or pie.
Or this beautiful pasta. With a glass of good cold white wine, a true homage to spring!

Spring-flavoured pasta

Ingredients (for 2):
1 cup fresh fava beans
1/2 cup fresh peas
3 heaped tablespoons ricotta (or portuguese requeijão)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 fresh red chili, sliced *
250g no. 4 spaghettini (or regular spaghetti)
3 or 4 sprigs of mint, leaves picked
salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch fava beans for about a minute or two. Remove them with a slotted spoon and run under cold water. Peel the shell off and reserve. Keep the water simmering in a low fire.
Heat a heavy skillet on a medium/high fire with a bit of olive oil.
Add onion, chili. Let cook for a couple of minutes until onion is soft. Add peas, a few mint leaves, salt and pepper and cook for another minute in a medium/hot fire.
Bring the water where you cooked the fava beans to a boil, adjust salt and cook the pasta according to package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, mix 1/4 cup cooking water with the ricotta in a bowl and whisk to combine. It should have the texture of a rich sauce.
Drain the pasta and add to the skillet along with fava beans and ricotta. Stir gently to combine.
Season with more olive oil and pepper and top with the remaining mint leaves. Serve imediately.

* in Portugal you usually find two kinds of fresh chili. A small, african, very hot one, called piri-piri and a longer (about 12cm long), thin, mild one. I did a bit of research to find out its name but it turned out inconclusive. It looks like cayenne but tastes milder and fresher. The closest variety I came across on the internet was "garden salsa chili" but i'm not really sure. Jamie Oliver simply calls it "red chili" in his recipes but i'm curious to know its real name.

1 comment:

David said...

Gorgeous! And Delicious!