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Tagliatelle with Fava Beans, Mascarpone and Prosciutto

Tagliatelle with Fava Beans, Mascarpone and Prosciutto
Fava beans are delicious, but they require a bit of work. They must first be removed from their long, green pods, and each individual bean is covered with a tough skin that must be removed before cooking (unless the beans are very young and fresh). To peel, plunge the beans into boiling water and blanch for about 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cool water. The skins should slip off easily when the beans are pinched between the thumb and forefinger; use a paring knife to help remove stubborn skins.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 5 leeks, white portion only, cut into thin rounds
  • 3 lb. fava beans, shelled and skinned
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 lb. fresh tagliatelle
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • Grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 lb. thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into narrow strips
  • Large handful of fresh basil leaves, shredded
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions:

In a large fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the leeks and sauté until soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the fava beans, salt, pepper and nutmeg and sauté for 1 minute. Add the stock and simmer until the beans are just tender to the bite, about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot two-thirds full of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the water, add the pasta and cook until tender, 1 to 3 minutes.

Remove the fry pan from the heat and add the mascarpone and lemon zest, stirring until the cheese is melted. (High heat can make mascarpone separate.)

Drain the pasta and transfer to a warmed large, shallow bowl. Add the fava bean mixture and toss briefly. Add the prosciutto, basil and about 2 Tbs. of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately and pass the remaining cheese at the table. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Pasta, by Erica de Mane (Simon & Schuster, 2001).