Egg Noodles with Fava Beans, Leeks & Morels
Spring 2009 Recipe
Contributed by Edible Communities
It’s incredible that so few ingredients can provide so much intense flavor in every bite. The fabulous meaty texture and mild nuttiness of the mushrooms combined with the creaminess of the fava beans and sauce create a winning dish that’s sure to create requests for repeat performances.
Makes 4 servings
4 small leeks, white and light green parts only
1 ½ pounds fresh fava beans (also known as broad beans), shelled if still in pods or 1 ½ cups shelled fresh or frozen fava beans (do not thaw if frozen), inner hull still on
¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
½ pound morels or other mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more if needed
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more if needed
1 pound fresh tagliatelle or fettuccine, preferably egg-based
1. Cut each leek in half lengthwise. Place one leek half cut-side-down on a cutting board, then slice it lengthwise into very thin julienne strips. Repeat with the other leek halves. Set aside.
2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, add the fresh (or frozen) shelled fava beans. Cook for 1 minute (or 2 minutes if frozen). Using a large slotted spoon, quickly remove the beans to a colander set over a large bowl. (The bean-blanching water will be used to cook the noodles, so keep the water at a simmer). Rinse the beans under cold running water until cool. Using your fingers or a paring knife, carefully tear open the outer hull of each bean. Gently squeeze the fava beans into a small bowl; set aside. Discard the hulls.
3. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks, toss to coat with the butter and cook, stirring occasionally until the leeks are wilted and tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the morels, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid released from the mushrooms has been reabsorbed, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the fava beans, cream, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the heat. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
4. Return the bean-blanching water to a boil. Add the tagliatelle, stir well, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are slightly undercooked. Using a ladle, remove ¼ cup of the pasta-cooking water to a small bowl. Quickly drain the noodles into a large colander, then add them into the sauté pan with the sauce. Turn the heat to medium-high and gently toss the noodles with the sauce until they are cooked to al dente, about 1 minute, adding some of the pasta-cooking water if the sauce becomes too thick. Serve immediately.