Tagliolini pasta with almond pesto and broad beans

pasta recipe with fava broad beans and pesto

Broad beans, fave appear are typical spring vegetables in Italy. The fave are eaten fresh, just out of the pod, often accompanied by a slice of young pecorino cheese or cooked with pasta, meat or as a side dish.

In this recipe, the broad beans are paired with a pesto of basil, almonds and ricotta for a delicious and light vegetarian dish.



  • 200 gr (7 ounces) store bought egg tagliolini (very narrow fettuccine)
  • 200 gr (1 cup) broad beans (yields 6 tablespoon shelled broad beans)
  • 1 garlic clove very finely minced
  • grated Parmigiano or Pecorino cheese
  • 2 tablespoon of ricotta

For the pesto

  • 1 bunch of fresh basil leaves, about 4 tablespoon
  • 2 tablespoon chopped almonds or pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive  oil


If you buy fresh fava beans on the pod, you will need about  1/2 kg (1 lb) per person.

Blanch the broad beans in boiling hot water for 5 min or until some of the skins start to split. Drain and refresh under cold water. Remove the shells. This will take some time but brings the recipe from ordinary to truly wonderful as the shells are bitter and might be tough if the beans are mature. Reserve.

To make the pesto, blend all ingredients  an immersion blender or mortar and pestle if you prefer. It is important to make the pesto at the last possible moment before using it in the sauce. This way the pesto does not oxidize and as a consequence all flavor is retained.

While making the pesto, cook the tagliolini in plenty salted boiling water according to package instructions.

In a pan large enough to hold all the pasta, sauté 1 clove of garlic in olive oil until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broad beans and cook briefly to infuse them in the garlic oil. Remove the beans from the heat and stir in 2 tablespoon of pesto and two tablespoon of ricotta.

Drain the pasta reserving 1/3 cup of the pasta water. Transfer the pasta in the pan that holds the sauce and turn he heat on high. Add some pasta water and quickly stir to incorporate the sauce with the pasta.add more pasta water to keep the sauce fluid. Serve immediately with grated Parmigiano or Pecorino cheese.

Serves 2

how to make pasta with fava beans

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