Saturday, April 10, 2010

Fava Beans and Pasta

from Luz's DeColonial Cooking Club

I used fava beans from my garden! Fresh favas are in season now in CA. Find them at your farmer's market. (The Mexican markets in Oakland have them too!)

Pasta with Fresh Fava Beans, Ricotta, and Shredded Mint

2 pounds unshelled fava beans (about 1 cup shelled)
1 pound uncooked whole wheat pasta (penne or shells work well)
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup ricotta cheese [vegans, whip up some tofu]
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh pecorino
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
Zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Remove fava beans from pods; discard pods. Cook beans in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove beans with a slotted spoon. Plunge beans into cold water; drain. Remove tough outer skins from beans; discard skins. Set beans aside. (This is labor intensive but the bright green color of the inner bean will make it worth the effort!)

Cook pasta according to the package directions, Drain pasta. Place pasta in a large bowl; add oil and salt. Toss well.

Combine ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, chopped mint, lemon zest, and pepper. Add beans and cheese mixture to pasta mixture; toss to combine. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.

Ktrion: you can add frozen petit pois to the fava beans. I think Malucho has also used chevre instead of ricotta.

Health Benefits

Fava Beans: Favas are nutrition superheroes. They are high in fiber and iron, and low in sodium and fat. They have no cholesterol but so much protein, they are called the meat of the poor. Some think favas may help in treating Parkinson's disease.

Lemon Zest: Citrus fruits contain limonin and limonene, which appear to help block some of the cellular changes that can lead to cancer. Limonene, which is found mainly in the colorful skin, or zest, of the fruit, has been shown to increase the activity of proteins that help eliminate estradiol, a naturally occurring hormone that has been linked with breast cancer. Limonene has also been shown to increase the level of enzymes in the liver that can remove cancer-causing chemicals.

Mint: Mint is well known for its ability to sooth the digestive tract and reduce the severity and length of stomach aches. In addition, mint teas and other herbal preparations have shown great promise at easing the discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome, and even at slowing the growth of many of the most harmful bacteria and fungi. The well-documented antifungal properties of mint are thought to play a role in the treatment of asthma and many allergy conditions as well. It is even thought that mint may have benefits as an anticancer food. Mint is known to contain a phytonutrient called perillyl alcohol, which has been shown in studies on animals to prevent the formation of colon, skin and lung cancer. Further study is needed to see if this important benefit extends to the human world.

No comments:

Post a Comment