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Recipe

Bucatini with Fava Beans and Guanciale

Gentl & Hyers

Servings: 4 as a main course or 6 as a starter

Make this pasta during the early summer months, when fava beans are starchier than the tender springtime variety. Guanciale is made by curing the meat from a pig’s jowls and is similar in texture and flavor to pancetta. Substitute it, or good-quality bacon, if you can’t find guanciale.

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 lbs. large, starchy fava beans, shucked (about 2 cups)
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup diced guanciale or pancetta
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus leaves for garnish
  • 1 lb. fresh or high-quality dried bucatini
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Pecorino Romano, for grating at the table

Preparation

  • Bring a large pan of generously salted water to a boil over medium-high heat and blanch the shucked fava beans for 30 seconds. Drain and transfer to a bowl filled with ice and cold water to stop the cooking. When they are cool enough to handle, peel the beans, removing the outer skin.
  • Refill the pot with water, generously salt, and bring back to a boil. Warm the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed sauté pan, add the diced guanciale and cook slowly over low heat until the fat is rendered and the guanciale is crispy and golden brown. Add the garlic and 1 teaspoon of the parsley, continuing to cook and stir for about 3 minutes. Add the shelled fava beans and 1 cup water. Season with a pinch each of salt and black pepper, increase the heat, and cook until the water begins to evaporate and the starchy beans begin to break down, about 10 minutes. Add more water to the pan if it starts to dry out.
  • Drop the pasta in the boiling water and cook until almost al dente. Reserve a cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain and transfer the pasta to the pan with the fava bean sauce. Add a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and the remaining teaspoon of parsley and continue cooking the pasta in the sauce until it is al dente and the sauce clings to the pasta. Add the Parmigiano and a drizzle of olive oil and transfer to serving plates.
  • Grate the Pecorino Romano over the pasta at the table, and finish with a few grinds of black pepper and a scattering of parsley leaves.

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