BRAISED FAVA BEANS
Fave a spezzatino
The fava beans can also be served over spaghetti. See below.
This way of preparing vegetables is particularly well suited to le prime fave, the very first fava beans to he picked and the other first-of-the season vegetables, whether peas or artichokes or zucchini. These early favas don't have to be peeled, they are crunchy and juicy and the peel of the bean is good to eat. (The peel of later favas is tough and does have to be peeled.)
1 small red onion, finely chopped
Saute' the onion in the olive oil until golden. Add the favas, salt and pepper to taste, and the water. Cover and simmer over low heat until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. keeping in mind that Sicilians like their vegetables cooked through. Sprinkle with the parsley and remove from the heat.
N 0 T E. Fresh fava beans are available in the spring in food specialty shops and in grocery stores catering to an Italian, Iranian, or Near Eastern clientele, or farmers' markets.
One pound (450 g) of favas in the shell yields about 1 cup of shelled favas. Frozen beans are available all year round.
VARIATION. Pasta con le prime fave (spaghetti with early fava beans). While the beaus are cooking, cook 1/2 pound of spaghetti in lots of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and toss with the fava bean mixture. Serve immediately. This makes enough for 4 people as a first course