Pappardelle with  Asparagus and Fava Beans


Vegetables available in the farmers’ market at the same time generally go well together. In spring, you almost can’t go wrong mixing asparagus, fava beans, peas, spring onions, artichokes or leeks—either in pairs or more elaborate combinations. They share a sweet, tender quality that shows best in simple preparations, such as this dish of buttered wide noodles with asparagus tips, fava beans and prosciutto. From Fresh from the Farmers’ Market.

  • 1 pound fresh egg pasta in sheets
  • Semolina flour or all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup minced shallots
  • 3 ounces prosciutto, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 pound thin asparagus tips (weight after trimming), sliced on the diagonal into 3/4-inch lengths
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup shelled and peeled fava beans (from about 2 pounds unshelled beans

By hand, cut the pasta into pappardelle—ribbons about 8 inches long and 3/4-inch wide. Dust lightly with semolina or all-purpose flour to keep the noodles from sticking and set aside on a tray.

 Heat the butter and olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over moderate heat. Add the shallots, prosciutto, parsley and garlic and saute until the shallots are softened, about 3 minutes. Add the asparagus, season well with salt and pepper and toss to coat with seasonings. Add the broth, bring to a simmer, cover and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the asparagus are crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the fava beans, cover and continue cooking until the beans and asparagus are tender, another 2 minutes or more. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

 Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, leaving a little water clinging to the noodles; return the noodles to the pot. Add the sauce and toss gently but well. Serve immediately.

 Serves 4 to 6