pasta with favas, tomatoes and sausage

I wish I could tell you that the last meal cooked in the first Smitten Kitchen was a triumph, a fitting coda to four-plus years in a sun-drenched Manhattan kitchen with enough space to put everything away (not that I’m pointing fingers or anything, new kitchen) and space enough for two people (and at least one growing midsection) to settle comfortably within it. Alas, that was not the case.

blanching fresh favas

Instead it was prepared in the evening (when even the skylight couldn’t be taken advantage of), in kind of rushed (as in, “why am I cooking dinner when I should be packing things, or pretending to pack things while actually reading the internet?”) and was less of a “I’ve always wanted to make this” and more of a “if we’re packing up the kitchen tomorrow, let’s get on last meal in tonight.” Ah, the glamor! But isn’t this so often what weekday night cooking is about?

peeled favas

That isn’t to say that it wasn’t tasty. It was actually a delicious compromise of a dinner: Alex will never say no to a dish that involves any format of sausages and I’ve been eagerly awaiting fresh fava beans (get it? Peas in pods, gosh, I’m hilarious). Alas, favas are not around yet (on this coast), but Alex found some politically incorrect ones at a store, to hold me over. Although I know shucking, blanching and peeling favas isn’t the quickest thing, and that frozen ones are readily available (and if not, limas will do), to me, the fresh ones are more than worth the effort, sweet, almost nutty and the embodiment of spring (even when the weather outside begs to differ).

sausage! sausages! sausage!

What felt like by the skin of our teeth, we’ve “landed” in the new place and by golly, do we own a lot of stuff for people who claim to live a uncluttered life. The 60-plus boxes piled in the second bedroom (which buys us at least five months to unpack them, right?) and our poor furniture (heaved relentlessly down three flights of narrow stairs, walked to a truck a block away, then back up another three flights of stairs by Vinnie’s Brawniest) might beg to differ. But we’re here, and I must say, deeply smitten with the new digs. Smitten enough to unpack the kitchen today? Hoo hoo hee. Let’s not get crazy or anything.

fresh pasta sheets

One year ago: Almond Cake with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote

Fresh Pasta with Favas, Tomatoes and Sausage
Adapted from Bon Appetit

Whether I have time or energy to make my own, I still think that fresh pasta makes a dish. If you buy freshly rolled sheets, often labeled for lasagna, when you take them home you can use them as you wish, cutting them into long strips, odd shapes or even rolling them thinner, for a more delicate pasta dish.

Serves eight, in theory. I’d say it serves four.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 pound Italian sausages, casings removed
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 3/4 cups chopped plum tomatoes or diced canned tomatoes
1 cup shelled fresh fava beans (from about 1 pound), blanched 3 minutes then peeled, or double-peeled frozen, thawed
3/4 pound fresh pasta sheets (simple recipe here, richer recipe here), cut as desired (maltagliati, or “badly cut” pasta with irregular shapes is suggested), or dried egg fettuccine
2 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese plus additional for passing

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add next onion, garlic and red pepper and sauté until onion is translucent, about six minutes. Add sausages; break up with fork or a flat-ended wooden spoon. Sauté until brown, about three minutes. Add wine; simmer one minute, scraping up browned bits. Add tomatoes and fava beans. Sauté until tomatoes soften, about five minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to same pot.

Add sauce to pasta. Toss over medium heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved cooking liquid as needed if dry, about two minutes. Mix in two tablespoons cheese and transfer pasta to bowl. Serve, passing additional cheese.

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99 comments on pasta with favas, tomatoes and sausage

  1. There’s nothing like moving to make you feel like you have too much stuff! The sheets of pasta look beautiful. Good luck with the unpacking and hope your first few weeks of breaking in the new kitchen are full of happy fun.

  2. Oh gosh, the first 90% of unpacking is the best part! Finding a new spot for everything is fun, and then you come to the stuff that was equally difficult to pack, that doesn’t go anywhere. I usually box that up, stick it in the basement, and leave it there until I move again. Good luck! And thanks for the tip on frozen favas, I’ve never seen them, but I’ll look more closely now!

  3. Congrats on the move! And the existence of a second bedroom. That’s something. The pasta looks lovely! It’s been so frustrating, the slow, slow appearance of spring veg. Apparently in San Francisco they already have fresh peas! And strawberries, even. Curses.
    While you’re talking about stuff, would you mind enumerating what size stainless (are they MC2) pots you have and love?

  4. Looks delsih! I remember being in Italy in May one year and all the great fava bean dishes we had. One of the simpliest and most delicious was favas with lemon juice, cracked pepper, extra virgin olive oil and shaved pecorino. So good! I’m sure that combo over noodles would be delicious as well.

    Enjoy your new pad!

  5. Matt

    I also had the joy of moving this weekend. I feel your pain, but I only had to move from a first-story apartment to a second-story one… so it wasn’t so bad. This looks delicious. We’re pretty much settled (thankfully, we don’t have much “stuff” since we’re a poor engaged couple), so I’ll have to give this a whirl over the weekend. Tonight is breakfast tacos… gotta love Austin.

  6. deb

    Maggie — We have something close to this set, except instead of the 3-quart covered saute pan we have a 3-quart wide-ish saucepan (you can see it in the top picture). I don’t see our version online anywhere, but we’d actually wanted the one with the saute pan (more useful in general) but due to our mini-stove/ovens the saucepan style actually fits better when there are other pots on, so it’s for the best.

    I don’t actually love these pots. I mean, I know that they’re what everyone uses and adores these days but the saute pan is really annoyingly sticky at higher heats (this is the material, nothing about the way All Clad makes them) and we often have really go at the frying pan with steel wool to get it clean. Perhaps we’ll warm up to them; it’s only been 6 months. I’m far more partial to cast iron frying pans these days.

  7. I don’t want to cause a scene here… but I’ve never had fava beans. Have no idea what they taste like, fresh or frozen. Perhaps, The Silence of the Lambs ruined fava beans for me. But, that’s the past, right? So, perhaps I can find some in the store and give ’em a go. We really do like trying new things… We probably won’t have them with a nice Chianti though.

  8. Susan

    I love the sound of this meal. I would have gone for it too. I still will, except I prefer lima beans. Thanks for pointing to the fresh pasta recipes, I’ll try my hand at one of those. Fresh pasta where I’m staying consists of whatever well known brand is available in the refridgerator section of the ‘chain’ grocery store. It’s impossible to roll those thinner..and they do need to be thinner.

    Oh no, another 3 flights of stairs? You be careful, things get awkward (like, you haven’t already found that out by this time!) No elevator option?

  9. Fresh pasta, yum! Good luck getting settled in the new place. Moving is such a pain, I despise packing/unpacking. At least it gives you a good opportunity to inventory your kitchen :)

  10. MmeMcM

    I love pasta rags…this dish looks yummy but i’d probably substitute baby limas. Even my Italian genes can’t get over prepping fresh fava. : )

  11. This dish looks & sounds amazing! Seriously, the pasta is gorgeous…makes me want to yell “mama mia” and dig in…with a bottle of wine by my side…so full of temptation and comfort at the same time!

  12. So glad you’re in the new place! The unpacking can certainly wait for later. In the mean time, let’s talk about how amazing this dinner looks! I adore fava beans–politically incorrect or otherwise. Looks yummy!

  13. This looks very good. Just like Béa, I love when the pasta are wide like this. Must be a french “thing”…
    Good luck with the unpacking. It’s actually more fun than packing, so I’m sure your kitchen will be ready soon! If you’ve got less room than in the previous one, the only trick will be to be even more organized that you were… I’ve got a 36 square foot kitchen, and you can’t imagine all the stuff i have in there (ok, my blender and salad spinner are in my bedroom cupboard, but, hey, nobody has to know…)

  14. Becky

    As usual Deb, your post today with favas looks fantastic (like all your other recipes!!) and would love to make it as it is a freezing 40 degrees with the threat of snow in Chicago!
    Anyway, I wanted to mention that I have All-Clad MC2 too and love, love, love them. I find that if one slowly preheats the saute, saucepans,etc. at LOW to MEDIUM and never higher nothing ever burns or sticks. It is like magic. Just turn up the heat a notch after preheating-it does not take much-and you can get a great sear as well. I used them at too high a heat when I first got mine, too. It takes getting used to, that’s all. Also, All-Clad says to never use steel wool on the pans, I think that pits them over time. Only use “Bar Keeper’s Friend.” I swear by it:

    Best of luck to you and your family!!!! So happy you shared the wonderful news to all your readers!

  15. Linda

    Awww, sniff sniff. The last photographed meal at the old apt? It looks tasty and I too go for those large rags of pasta all wet and drippy with sauce. All this activity going on, nothing like packing your days chock full. Unpacking can be fun if you’re not run too ragged. You guys have somewhere to be later this week, don’t you? I’m looking forward to that for sure.

    Can’t wait to see the new meals and kitchen layout of the new place, enjoy!

  16. I made this several times last year and it has made me dream about fava beans all winter! I was pretty indifferent to them before but this recipe is amazing. I just bought my first beans of the season last weekend.

  17. Am

    Do favas have the same texture as lima beans? I love vegetables, but the mealiness of lima beans (or maybe just bad lima beans) has always put me off.

    I’d definitely make this with fresh arugula instead though!

  18. Hello there, and welcome to the ‘nabe! i hear your moving… as an FYI I wouldn’t get too excited by the trader joes, unless you want to introduce the baby to “mosh pitting” at this early stage, it may not be advisable!!

  19. Santadad

    Well, I know Deb doesn’t like this, but I bought Santamom All-Clad pans with teflon. It’s been several years; They haven’t chipped, peeled, or cracked, and I can still clean them easily with a teflon sponge.

  20. Mary

    This looks great. I can’t believe you are cooking it at a time like this, unless you are actually using cooking to get out of packing. I personally would never do that…oh yeah, I would! I’ve never eaten fava beans, and I won’t until somebody else unwraps them for me. But I do love baby limas, so the Prince may be getting this dish for supper very soon. He loves big sloppy pasta. I can’t wait!

  21. Oooooohh yummy. I saw this one and quickly flipped past it in the magazine. That might be because my husband kept making wise cracks about the silence of the lambs……. and I just wasn’t feelin’ it after that!! But now, now you’ve made me reconsider. If I make it i’ll re-post to your post and compare pictures! thanks for the inspiration :)

  22. Oh that’s looks yummy. I’m more of a baby lima bean girl myself and while I’m at it I usually toss in a bunch of frozen peas too, if we’ve got them. I haven’t tried it with Italian sausage though, that sounds really really good. My mom always did limas with really good oil packed tuna, so that’s what I usually do, but I’m going to have to try the sausage. My tummy is rumbley just thinking about it.

  23. Congrats on the landing! We will have been in Providence for a year tomorrow, and guess what my husband is spending this rainy Tuesday doing? Unpacking more books. :)

    Fresh, local favas landed here around June or July last year, and they are one of my favorite things, so I’m going to tuck this recipe away until then, when I will happily shell and peel as many favas as I can manage.

  24. This meal looks very tasty and not a bad choice for a last meal! I just found the occasion to try your Artichoke & Olive Crostini recipe and I can’t wait. I saw that you mentioned trouble with cleaning the All Clad pans, have you tried Bar Keeper’s Friend? Affectionately known as BKF by my husband (the dishwasher) and I. It’s fantastic.

  25. We packed a ton of stuff into a pair of pods months ago, and now I’m trying to decide what I’ll make first for the new place. Brownies for our friends helping us unpack pods, muffins for a breakfast treat (I just made the rapsberry breakfast bars over the weekend and only by great force of will are there any left), homemade ice cream if it is warm, salad to go with the pizza. I’ll probably be too tired for any of it, but it is a pleasant day dream!

  26. Looks terrific. And favas. Good grief, I can’t get enough of them.

    Yes, packing. I hate it. I told Bruce I have about one more move in me. Period. Ugh. Congrats on making it through. Look at each box as a holiday gift. Maybe even a surprise.

  27. Good luck unpacking Deb! I’ve moved every year for the past 8 years. I can now proudly say that I can stuff everything I own in two suitcases. Impressive, sure… but it was a painful road to get to this point, frantically throwing everyhitng out!
    The pasta dinner looks amazing, I love fresh beans… but they are almost impossible to find in Canada. Not many things grow in the great white north! We have maple syrup to go around though!

  28. We moved when our first baby was 20 weeks in utero. I totally overdid it while unpacking and didn’t drink enough water, and went into early labor, suffering from dehydration. By God’s grace we realized what was going on and we got to the hospital in time for them to give me an IV and stop the contractions, but the dr. put me on bedrest for a week and told me to take it easy. So…knowing that you just moved reminded me of our harrowing first few days in our new house. Hope you don’t mind me telling you to take care of yourself and don’t overdo it! Rest when you can and drink lots and lots of water. Love your site!!!

  29. I cannot agree with you more that fresh pasta makes the recipe. I definitely want to try this recipe. It looks so delicious, and quick and easy. And quick and easy is definitely the key these days…sigh.

  30. Looks absolutely delicious….and actually reminds me of a similar pasta dish I ate…somewhere (I have no idea where it was!) in nyc. Love the memory. Love the dish. Good luck with the unpacking!!

  31. looks so good. i have never cooked with fava beans because every recipe i see says “split fava beans” or something like that. also they take ages to cook. but this seems like a great recipe. probably pretty versatile in terms of the type of bean used. classic!

  32. I will have to try this very soon. I’ve been very curious about fava beans for a while now having never eaten them before. I’m always looking for ways to introduce unfamiliar vegetables to my life and this looks delicious. On another note, as a longtime reader I think its sort of endearing that you are still using Vinnie’s to move. :)

  33. anne

    hi! this looks SOOO good (I’ve made a similar one with broccoli rabe that I love) but I have never bought fava beans before! Saw them in pods at my local gourmet market. Are they easy to peel? Will it be totally obvious once I shuck them? This fava bean newbie would love some advice..

  34. Oh I was just daydreaming about favas…you’ve inspired me to be politically incorrect and go buy some with a giant carbon footprint. I couldn’t agree more on the fresh pasta thing…it takes dishes to another level, no question.

  35. Cate

    I’ve been reading up & catching up with you…. all I can say is you may not be able to pry yourself away from PW’s kitchens…. Can you commute back and forth to NYC? Enjoy your Western Adventure!!

  36. Priscilla in VA

    Made this for dinner tonight but had to sub green peas for the fava beans. My family absolutely LOVED this dish. I would have otherwise passed this recipe in the magazine since it looks “too simple.” But if you’re making your own pasta, it becomes a (manageable) juggling act! (I had to make green beans on the side too to add more veggies to the meal.) My pasta was cut extra wide at a diagonal and it looked so rustic and homey. Will definitely make this again, with favas.

  37. I will really look forward to any baby/children’s recipes you might post in the future–I assume you’ll have a section for baby? Except by then my toddler will be—a lot older than 17 months. Gah! I had no idea it would be so time-consuming and a tad stressful, coming up with kid recipes beyond grilled cheese, pasta and Trader Joe’s frozen meatballs. Because sometimes he’ll gobble up my meatloaf and sometimes it’s like he never loved fishsticks or my spinach (etc.) quiche. I think I can pull from your adult recipes (and luckily there’s Anabel Karmel–although I suck at custard).

  38. Mary

    Looks so good, I scrapped my dinner plalns for the night it came out, rushed out and got the ingredients, and made it right away. Hubby liked it; me? meh. Probably won’t go to that much trouble again for this dish. Love the pasta format, however, and plan to try other ingredients with it.

  39. I’m confused now! I saw the dish and thought, OK, I am hereby changing my plans for dinner tonight to make this and then you said it wasn’t so great…

    I don’t care though.. this looks stunning and I still want to make it. I think another option here to make the dish a bit more delicate and reflective of spring may be to ditch the sausage and use rabbit. I love a good rabbit ragu with these wide noodles, and the meat is so delicate that it sort of plays down the weight of the dish.

  40. Did you actually make fresh pasta while you were supposed to be packing?! Or did you have a pre-bought short cut? The wide noodles look yummy! I don’t think I’ve had fresh fava beans before, so I might need to try them. Good luck with unpacking!

  41. Zoe

    How long, approximately does it take those pasta pieces to cook (So I know when to start tasting/poking)? Also, do you remember where on the pasta dial you stopped rolling for that thickness? Very pretty I might add.

  42. Looks great! I actually made pasta tonight too. Did a tomato sauce for the first time (I’m 18, almost everything’s a first so far) and my parents loved it. Now there’s no way they are letting me move out!

  43. Derrell Robinson

    I fell in love all over again, I love to cook and entertain, so always looking for unique receipes, this site is the best. I made the pasta dish, but could not find Favas beans, so the produce mgr at our local produce mkt, said they are seasonal, but he would recomend fresh plump Snap Peas, I tried it and it was great, thanks again for your great work of love.

  44. Lindsey

    Could edamame be a a substitute for the fava beans? I always have edamame sitting in the freezer, and I am VERY picky when it comes to eating beans…

    I would appreciate some quick and easy 1 or 2 serving recipes, as I am a college student living in a little apartment. I usually don’t have the time or room to cook up a large complicated meal with lots of leftovers.


    1. deb

      Don’t see why edamame couldn’t work. As for smaller servings, we halve recipes almost all of the time, mostly because leftovers tend to sit ignored in our fridge for months, only to reemerge in the most frightening, unrecognizable states.

  45. Kevin

    We made this tonight – I was at the Farmer’s market and saw fresh fava beans, so there! I was amazed how small the beans were compared to the pods. Each large pod held 4-5 small beans, which got smaller when parboiled and peeled. In fact, preparing these is a labor of love. But the pasta was great, even without garlic and onions (we are a garlic/onion free zone). We might try it with prosciutto to further reduce the spices.

  46. Kim

    As a matter of TRUE fact, a pasta machine I bought online showed up at my door this afternoon. O YEAH!! I am dying with baited breath to try this recipe. O! the freshness of homemade pasta.

    Glad I found this site!

  47. Kat

    I made this dish tonight, and it was amazing! I didn’t get to use the lasagna sheets, but I did use fettucine, and it was still great. Thanks for the inspiration!

  48. Dani A

    I just made this and it was absolutely fabulous! Great use of my CSA share of fava beans. I couldn’t find the flat pasta sheets so I used cheese tortellini. Very Very good. Thanks so much~

  49. Genie

    I used this recipe to christen my new pasta machine and it did not disappoint! Couldn’t find fava beans so I used lima beans instead, still delicious! The mild chicken sausage I used was tasty, but I think next time I will double the red pepper flakes and get a more robust sausage. Thanks for another recipe win!

  50. Tori

    Also, we’ve used edamame and kidney beans in place of the fava when we’ve been out and they’ve both worked excellently.

  51. Becky

    Hi Deb
    I know you posted this recipe years ago, but it popped up when I hit the “surprise me” button. I’ve never done Fava beans before, or home made pasta, but it all came together so nicely, my in-laws say it is one of the best dishes I have made. Thank you for the beautiful recipe.

  52. corinne

    Was looking for something to do with fresh edamame from my CSA and somehow stumbled upon this recipe. Can’t wait to give this a try tomorrow night, seems like something new but familiar.

  53. Katie L

    Wow, this was SO SO GOOD!!! It seems like a simple dish but it is so decadent. I was a little heavy handed with the red pepper so I added a splash of cream at the end, which was an excellent decision. A +++, 10/10, will make again.