Recipes Side Dishes Beans Fava Beans with Pancetta and Lemon
Fava Beans with Pancetta and Lemon

Fava Beans with Pancetta and Lemon

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 Serves 4.
Fava beans grow inside thick pods and have a rich, buttery flavor. Shell them as you would peas by first snapping off the stem and pulling away the tough string on the side of the pod. Then pop each pod open by pressing your thumbnails along its seam. This dish is a lovely accompaniment to herbed veal or lamb chops.


  • 2 1/4 lb. fava beans, shelled
  • 2 thin slices pancetta, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. minced lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh sage
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Add the fava beans and cook for 3 minutes. Drain the beans. When cool enough to handle, split the translucent skin covering each bean and pop the bean free of the skin. Set the beans aside.

In a heavy fry pan over medium heat, sauté the pancetta until crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the carrot and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the fava beans, lemon zest and sage, mixing well. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve hot.
Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Fresh & Light, by Lane Crowther (Time-Life Books, 1998).