‘Fave’ is the Italian name for the broad bean, but in Puglia, where this recipe comes from, the word is also used to describe this dense, oily mash based on broad beans and potatoes. Along with orecchiette, the ear-shaped pasta distinctive to the region, fave is a staple food. It is usually eaten as a first main course (primo piatto), as an alternative to pasta or risotto. Traditionally, it is topped with boiled bitter greens, creating a wonderful combination of textures and flavors, as well as being extremely nutritious and cheap to make.
Recipe Type: Side dish
Author: Recipe excerpted and modified from the Italian Regional Cookbook by Valentina Harris.
Serves: 4 to 5
- 1¼ cups dried broad/fava beans
- 14 ounces potatoes
- About 2 large handfuls greens, such as cabbage or kale
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
- Put beans in a large pan or flameproof earthenware pot and cover generously with cold water. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer gently for 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, peel potatoes, cut into 1-inch slices and put in a bowl of cold water. Leave to soak until beans are ready.
- After 2 hours, the pan of beans will have developed a foamy scum. Skim this off, and then pour away most of the water by tilting pan carefully over the sink.
- Drain potato slices and spread them over the semi-drained broad beans, then top up to the level of the potatoes with fresh water. Add a pinch of salt and return pan to heat for a further 30–40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, boil greens in salted water for 10–20 minutes, until tender.
- Adjust seasoning to taste, and then serve purée in heated shallow bowls, with a generous swirl of olive oil on top of each portion and a topping of greens.
PER SERVING: 289 CAL; 6 G PROTEIN; 22 G FAT; 20 G CARB; 496 MG SODIUM; 2 G FIBER (NUTRITIONAL VALUES CALCULATED AT NUTRITIONDATA.SELF.COM)