This flavorsome pasta dish couldn’t be much easier, especially if you have pesto and toasted walnuts on hand, which are a real boon to the cook in spring and summer. The fava bean greens need only a brief heating, so toss them into the hot pasta just before serving.
The flavor of fava bean greens is delicate, buttery, and imminently appealing. The greens pair to good advantage with orange, lemon, walnut, chile peppers, garlic, sheep’s milk cheese, and green onions—all of which are in the pesto. The spicy Italian sausage, toasted walnuts, and soft, sheep’s milk cheese are savory counterpoints to the sprightly pesto.
Ingredient Note You are probably familiar with fresh, silky goat’s milk cheese (chèvre), but have you tried fresh sheep’s milk cheese? In the same flavor family as pecorino romano, manchego, mizithra, and feta, it has a high lemony flavor and creamy, rich texture that I find irresistible. In addition, it isn’t as tangy and assertive as chèvre, which makes it a better choice for more subtle flavor partners, such as fava beans and their greens.
¼ cup Fava Bean Greens, Walnut & Orange Pesto
½ pound dried strozzapreti, casarecci, torchietti or other short, twisted pasta (or 1 pound fresh pasta, such as Portland Pastawork’s Casarecce)
1 tablespoon fine sea salt (for pasta boiling water)
8 ounces spicy Italian sausage, casing removed (2 sausages)
1 tablespoon cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil
handful fava bean greens leaves (remove thick stems)
2 ounces soft sheep’s milk cheese, crumbled (such as Willapa Hill’s Willapa White) (whole milk ricotta also works here)
¾ cup (3 ounces) lightly toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
fine sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- To cook the sausage, set a large sauté pan over medium heat, and add the olive oil. Pinch marble-size pieces of sausage into the pan. Sauté, turning frequently, until all pieces are lightly browned and fully cooked. If the pan becomes dry, add an extra drizzle of olive oil. Remove the sauté pan from the heat, but keep warm at the back of the stove. (If made in advance, gently rewarm.)
- Fill a large (6-8 quart) pasta pot with insert with 1 gallon cold water, add 1 tablespoon salt, set over high heat, and bring to a rolling boil.
- Add pasta to boiling water, stir rapidly, and cook to al dente (follow package directions).
- Drain pasta quickly and add to hot sausage in the sauté pan.
- Toss with the pesto sauce, until well incorporated.
- Divide pasta between serving plates and top each with fava bean greens, crumbled sheep’s milk cheese, and toasted walnuts.
- Serve immediately.
More Fabuloso Pasta Recipes from LunaCafe
- Italian Bolognese Sauce (Ragù)
- Linguine with Balsamic Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes
- LunaCafe OtherWorldly Mac & Cheese
- Mostaccioli with Sweet Rainbow Peppers
- Old World Spaetzle: The New Pasta?
- Old-Fashioned Creamy Macaroni Salad
- Pasta Carbonara Perfecta Mundo
- Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with Garlic Sage Butter
- Spaetzle, Wild Mushrooms & Broccoli Rabb with Thai Yellow Curry Sauce
- Spicy Penne & Chicken Salad with Chipotle Lime Dressing
- Spinach & Egg Fettuccini with Wild Mushrooms & Pancetta (Straw and Hay)
- Strozzapreti Pasta with Spicy Italian Sausage, Broccolini & Garlic Crema
- World Famous Green Chile Mac & Cheese
Cookin’ with Gas (inspiration from around the web)
- Y Len Ate: Making Pasta with Madame – Strozzapreti with Black Truffles
- Eat with a Spoon: Strozzapreti
- FXCuisine: Homemade Casarecce Pasta
Thanks for stopping by. Happy cooking!
Copyright 2013 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.
Oooh! We’re always looking for new pasta recipes and this looks like a winner. Such hearty ingredients for the perfect weeknight meal!
Susan S. Bradley
Kimberly Ann, this dish is DELICIOUS. I love pasta and could eat it every day. So I’m always trying new flavor pairings to keep it interesting. This one’s a keeper. 🙂
This is my kind of dinner…so many great ingredients! And those fava green beans are new to me – but I’m definitely going to look for them in my local market!
Susan S. Bradley
Martha, I looked at those piles of fava beans (and their green tops) at Portland Farmers Market for far too long before succumbing. As it turns out, there’s a reason people rave about fava beans. 🙂
I have never heard of this pasta before but I am totally loving it. I sometimes get tired of the same ol same ol spaghetti, fettucini and linguini. I like that these are short but still kinda noodly. Must look for them! Do you find them in the regular grocery store?
I am addicted to using different greens in various applications. Love this one! I’ll have to add it to my list!
Love all the creativity in your kitchen and your gorgeous photos. I can’t wait to find fava bean greens at the farmers market and to try this pasta. I have been enjoying pesto made with pea tendrils, and this is a great variation. What makes this sheets milk cheese different from feta? Is the consistency more like ricotta? Thanks!
oh wow, looks delicious, I totally making some for myself 😀
This pasta is so nice and easy to make and it sounds so good! I am definitely going to have to keep an eye out for fava bean greens!
I have been browsing and would have to say that we are kindred spirits in the kitchen. Some day I may make it to Oregon, you never know.
Gorgeous! This pasta looks SO delicious!
Susan S. Bradley
Thanks Sara! 🙂