La Fritteda, Pasta with Fava Beans, Fennel, and Onions

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The spinach pasta with fava beans, peas, fennels and artichokes is a rustic spring stunner. Originally this dish did not have pasta. It was not the most beautiful looking pot of food. All the work that went into this dish, and I still ended up with the ugly step sister, but delicious enough for the princess. My baby artichokes could look better. My onions could be more uniformly sliced. But, I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it any more.

La Friteda. Pasta with Fava Beans and Spring Vegetables inspired by Marcella Hazan.

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La Fritteda, the Heartiness of a Fall Dish with Flavors of Springtime

I first made this dish as an early blogger back in 2010, as part of cooking Italy, using Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classical Italian Cooking. This cookbook is an all time classic, with no pictures and 35 years later continues to sell!


This is not a five minute dish. There is prep work involved. Fava beans are not for light weights. You have to be the kind of person that enjoys the PROCESS of cooking just as much as the EATING. I am just such that person some of the time.

I cook most of the food I eat, and in a recent asparagus post I told you about my idea of five-minute meals (roasted asparagus). But, there are those days that the time in the kitchen is not something to get through like piano practice; it’s something to enjoy from beginning to end.

How to Substitute the Ingredients for La Fritteda

The fun starts when you discover it’s fava bean season and you scoop up as many as you can afford because it’s a quick season and the earlier, the better tasting. If you can’t find fava beans, use baby lima beans.

Then you grab at the baby artichokes spring peas, and vidalia onions feeling almost as giddy as a teenage girl with spring fever.  If you can’t find fresh peas, or baby artichokes,  use frozen.

If you love Vidalia onions, I have quite a few onion-centric recipes, such as Blackberry Onion Pizza, and Vidalia Onion Sweet Corn Risotto. 

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La Friteda. Pasta with Fava Beans and Spring Vegetables inspired by Marcella Hazan. .

I made this dish twice in one week because we loved the unique combination of spring vegetables. The result of fava beans, fennel, peas and artichokes delivers the heartiness of a fall dish with the flavors of springtime. Even if you just eat the La Fritteda without pasta, you will walk away from the table feeling satisfied.

La Friteda. Classic Italian Pasta with Fava Beans and Spring Vegetables inspired by Marcella Hazan.

I used their fresh spinach pasta from Alfresco’s Pasta and I chose to caramelize the vegetables. If you try the caramelized version, skip any added grated cheese at the end and just enjoy the savory flavor the onion and fennel deliver.

La Fritteda with Pasta, Artichokes, Peas, Fava Beans from Spinach Tiger #pasta

Make this spring pasta dish all year long! It’s so good. You can always substitute gluten free pasta or zero carb pasta.

All Marcella Hazan Recipes Cooked Here at Spinach Tiger

All Italian Recipes from Spinach Tiger

La Fritteda with Pasta, Artichokes, Peas, Fava Beans
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4.72 from 7 votes

La Fritteda, Artichoke, Fennel and Fava Bean with Pasta

Adapted from Marcella Hazan, Essentials of Classical Italian Cooking, this is a unique combination of baby artichokes, fava beans and fennel. Great as a side dish, or as a main course with pasta.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Author: Angela Roberts

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet onion thinly sliced with a mandolin or sharp knife
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb with fronds
  • 6 baby artichokes
  • 2 pounds of fresh fava beans or fresh or frozen lima beans
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • sea salt freshly ground black pepper
  • splash of champagne or white wine vinegar.

Instructions

  • Slice onion thinly, set aside
  • Fennel Bulb and Fronds:
  • Dice fronds, set aside. Slice Fennel thinly (like the onion).
  • Fava Beans: Hull and blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds. Cool in lemon ice water and slip out of skins. If you can’t get fava beans, fresh spring lima beans (or frozen) are another option.
  • Artichokes: Peel off rough leaves, slice into quarters. Trim top 1/4 inch off. As you peel artichokes, place in water. Once all are peeled and trimmed. If you can’t get baby artichokes, frozen hearts would work.
  • In heavy pot, saute onions and fennel in olive oil until softened. Add chopped fennel frond. Season with salt.
  • Add in artichokes, cover and cook on medium heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally. You may need to cook longer.
  • Add in fava beans, peas, vinegar. Cook a few minutes longer to heat through. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Eat as a side dish or toss with pasta.

Notes

If using pasta, toss with zest of a whole lemon.

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If you love this recipe, please give it five stars. It means a lot. xoxo

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9 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    The fun starts when you discover it’s fava bean season and you scoop up as many as you can afford because it’s a quick season and the earlier, the better tasting. If you can’t find fava beans, use baby lima beans.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this dish twice in one week because we loved the unique combination of spring vegetables.

  3. 5 stars
    The fun starts when you discover it’s fava bean season and you scoop up as many as you can afford because it’s a quick season and the earlier, the better tasting. If you can’t find fava beans, use baby lima beans.

  4. 5 stars
    I always try to bring vegetables to meals. It is good for health and heart. More diets of people who lose weight as I really need more green vegetables and less protein. but still have health

  5. 5 stars
    I love the shot of the Margaritas. I’d frame it and hang it in the kitchen.

Comments are closed.