Pasta con piselli e fave

Springtime reminds me of my grandmother sitting on the stairs outside the house, shelling fresh fava beans and peas in her apron. While I always loved the latter, I’ve never been a huge fan of the fava beans, and haven’t eaten them for long time.

Then Sunday I went to pick some fresh legumes at the family garden; they looked so nice, green, fresh, and decided to give it a try.

I decided to pair them with my favorite food, pasta, and prepared a very traditional Mediterranean recipe, pasta with fava beans and peas, tasty and nutritious like most Mediterranean dishes.

Beneficial effects:

Peas and Fava beans are a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B1, B2, B6, C, zinc, manganese, copper, magnesium, potassium, folate.

Both legumes are also a good source of protein especially when they are combined with grains so that they provide all of the essential amino acids.

Concerns to be aware of:

Sometimes, raw fava beans can cause allergic reactions in some people; cooking may prevent it.

Eating fava beans could cause adverse reactions to people who take Monoamine oxidase inhibitors  (MAOIs).

People with favism, an inherited disease characterized by the lack of the enzyme G6PD, develop hemolytic anemia when eating fava.

If you belong to the above categories and still want to try this recipe, double the amount of peas.


Yelds: 2-3 Servings      Total time: 45 minutes (15’ preparation, 30’ cooking)


¾ cup pasta (150g)

½ cup fresh peas (120g)

1 cup fresh fava beans (150g)

½ diced onion

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ cup canned diced tomatoes (100g)

Salt (optional)

Chili flakes or powder (additional)

Parmigiano Reggiano (optional)


Remove the peas and fava beans from the pods. Wash.

In a sauce pan, heat the olive oil and onion for a couple of minutes. Then add tomatoes and fava beans, and stir a little bit. Add enough water to cover. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the peas, and more water if needed. Cook for 5-8 minutes, it depends on tenderness of the legumes.

Meanwhile, put some water to boil in a large pot and cook the pasta. I used large penne this time. You can add a pinch of salt to the water if you like it.

Check the pasta, when you think it needs only few more minutes to cook, drain it and mix it to the peas and fava. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Add some grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese at the end.

Serve warm. No liver, some Chianti if you wish 😉

Buon Appetito!!

Published by Piera Forestieri

Health and Nutrition Advocate, Consultant, and Educator

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: