Spring is a still a ways off, but I found some fresh fava beans at the market this week and couldn’t resist picking up a big bag. Or at least I thought it was a big bag… By the time I shucked and peeled the beans, I could hold all the beans in one hand. Not really enough to make a dish out of it, but plenty for this easy weeknight pasta.
I decided to use Rotelle for this because they have so much surface area, which makes them perfect for rich creamy sauces like this one to cling to. They’re also about the same size as the fava beans which means they don’t all fall to the bottom like they would with smaller or thinner pastas. If you can’t find Rotelle, this would work well with other pastas like Orecchiette, Farfalle, or even Penne.
For the sauce I borrowed a trick from my Macaroni and Cheese. Instead of making a classic bechamel sauce, I toss the Gouda in potato starch and whisk it into the hot cream, it creates a silky smooth sauce that’s just the right consistency to coat each wheel of Rotelle.
Creamy Fresh Fava Rotelle
Get a taste of Spring with this easy weeknight pasta: fresh fava beans tossed in a silky smooth Gouda sauce perfectly coating each wheel of Rotelle. Yum. (Recipe Credit: Marc Matsumoto of Fresh Tastes.)
- 2.8 ounces Gouda (shredded)
- 1 teaspoon potato starch
- 14 ounces fresh fava beans (3.5 ounces shelled)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup cream
- 4.25 ounces Rotelle (or your favorite extruded pasta)
- black pepper (to taste)
- Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil.
- Toss the shredded Gouda with the potato starch to coat evenly.
- Remove the fava beans from their pods and then blanch the beans for about 20 seconds in boiling water. Drain and rinse under cold water to chill, and then peel the skins off of each bean.
- Boil the Rotelle for 8-9 minutes or until your preferred doneness.
- Add the olive oil to a frying pan over medium-high heat and saute the fava beans until bright green.
- Add the cream and bring to a boil.
- Turn down the heat and sprinkle in the cheese in batches, stirring rapidly to incorporate the cheese into the cream. When all the cheese has been incorporated, add the pasta and season with salt and pepper to taste. Don't let the sauce boil after you add the cheese or it can get gritty.
- Serve immediately.
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marcs been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.