Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fava Bean, to Love or Not to Love? That is the Question...

So every Tuesday I anxiously await news about what will be arriving in my CSA bag (CSA stands for community supported agriculture click here to find some in your area) I have found that it is a bag of surprisingly fun adventure every week. While it is a struggle sometimes to pay the hefty price tag at the beginning, that is usually done months before your first bag arrives and as such I have found that I feel like I get all this great organic produce for free! So this week, AWESOME! A pint of delicious blueberries, gone three hours after arrival. And a pint of the last of the seasons strawberries. Molly loves her fruit, she ate a ton of those blueberries, I like to call it brain food, and a lot of strawberries. I wish I had a flip camera to inbed a video of her saying strawberries it is about the cutest thing you have ever heard, well next to the way she pronounces bacon, she says, "macon." So cute! Also three kohlrabi, a veggie popular in Europe and not too well known here in the states, although it is gaining in popularity I see it constantly at the Farmer's Markets, and my CSA farmers have mentioned that it is the most requested veggie from their patrons. Another head of cabbage, I have it coming out of my ears right now and am seriously considering making my own kraut crock, regardless of the smell! A head of red leaf lettuce, and a ton of fava beans at the bottom of the bag (ALSO, plants! A zucchini plant, pumpkin plant, summer squash plant, thyme plant, arugula plant... they had a ton of dwarf dahlia plants and others but I didn't want to seem too stingy at the truck, although now in hindsight I should have taken more!)

I knew we were getting the fava beans so I had already planned to have a carbonara (I had leftover bacon that needed to be used as well) however I will say that as I started the LONG process of "processing" the fava beans and the thermometer in the house kept on rising I started to rethink doing pasta in an already hot house. Thankfully I am a wicked quick cook, I was able to get it done without raising the temp too much. I sort of followed the recipe for Spaghetti a la Carbonara by Anne Burrell so here it is off the top of my head:
1 lb pasta
1 cup or more fava beans (depends on how much effort you want to put in, but if you have a cool spot to sit some music or TV you might be good to go- otherwise you could also substitute edamame)
6-8 slices of bacon
6 eggs
1 cup pecorino romano cheese (grated)
Salt (to salt the water for the pasta)
Pepper (used generously in egg sauce)
3 scallions (cut on a severe bias)

1. Start well salted water to boil first, and boil pasta to desired doneness. Most Italian recipes ask for al dente but my husband hates it al dente, so we tend to "overcook" our pasta in this house. Right before the pasta is completely done put "shelled" fava beans in the pasta water, I used a strainer so the fava beans stayed contained. Cook the fava beans for about two minutes and then remove.
2. While pasta is cooking cut bacon into "lardons" or bite sized pieces and cook until brown in a deep saute pan, I say deep because you need to toss the pasta in the pan later.
3. In a separate bowl mix eggs and cheese together until they are completely combined. Then add a copious amount of pepper... when you think you have added too much, add a little more.
4. Toss pasta into the saute pan straight from the boiling water, mix them with the bacon (and leftover fat... this isn't something you want to have a lot of, or all the time) toss in the fava beans and then on medium high heat pour in the eggs stirring vigorously for a couple minutes, you want to cook the eggs but stop just short of scrambled eggs (this is a fine line so be careful)!
5. Serve immediately and top with scallions.

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