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Pasta with Broccoli Raab and Fava Bean Pesto

There are probably as many recipes for pasta with Fava beans as there are Italians. The one presented here is one we use in our family and enjoy whenever fresh Fava beans can be foundFava beans can usually be found in any Farmer’s market in the spring, or they can be grown in even a very small garden.  They grow like weeds, are easy to tend, and even easier to pick! Broccoli Raab or Rape is also found in most Farmer’s Markets or in any well provisioned grocery store.


1 1/2 Lbs. Broccoli Rape (Also known as Raab)
1/2 Lb. Fava Beans – Fresh
1/2 Med. Red onion – fresh
2 Cloves Garlic
1/4 Cup Pecorino Pepate or Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Tsp. Peperoncino – hot flakes – Optional
1/2 Lb. Pasta – Shells, Ziti or Penne
1/4 Cup Pecorino Pepate or Parmesan cheese – shaved

Preparing the Sauce

Shell the Fava beans.  This is easily done by pulling the “string” found along the sides of the pod and popping the beans out. Bring a pot of water large enough for the shelled beans to a to a boil. Place the shelled beans in the boiling water and blanch for 1 minute. After a minute, plunge the beans into cold water.  When cooled, pop the bright green beans from their almost white covers. Set them aside. Peel the onion and chop it into  1/2 inch pieces. Peel the garlic cloves.

Blanch the Broccoli Raab in slightly salted boiling water for 5-6 minutes. Drain and let cool. When cool squeeze as much water from the Rape as possible. 

Start heating the water for the pasta.

All the first six ingredients to a blender or food processor. Additionally add salt to taste. Process on medium speed, adding enough olive oil to obtain a mixture that is still slightly coarse pesto. (Not pureed.)  Add 2/3 of the shelled Fava beans to the food processor and process for 10-15 seconds. Transfer the pesto to a bowl, and if using the peperoncino, add it now, and mix gently with a spoon.

Assembling the Dish

Cook the pasta until al dente, then drain and return to the pot. Add the Rape and Fava pesto to the pot with the pasta beans and heat over a medium flame stirring all the while, but do not cook for more than thirty seconds or the pasta will be overdone. Top the pasta with the  shaved Pecorino Pepate or Parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately.

This is is a perfect dish for a 2009 De Angelis Wines Syrah.

2009 Syrah

This  De Angelis Wine was bottled in mid-February of 2011. A limited release occurred in August 2011. We decided to release the wine to the general public when we launch our new web site – This one! This is a 13.9% alcohol wine, and again brings flavor, balance, and finish to a this varietal.Some of the complexity is due to the addition of a small amount (10.5%) of Grenache. This blend has been offered since being originally introduced into our Syrahs in 2007.  Pair this with any beef, lamb or veal dish, as well as with flavorful pasta dishes.

We are very proud of this wine, and even more proud that we bring it to you at such a reasonable price point.

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