Pasta with Fava Beans, Chard, and Parsley

There's a kindred spirit between earthy, al dente whole wheat pasta and the earthy, vibrant flavors of fresh chard and parsley. Layer in the richness of fava beans and sauteed onions, and this is a dish to make more than once.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4-6 with leftovers

1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 small bunch chard, stems and leaves separated and chopped
1-2 cups prepared fava beans*
1 bunch parsley, washed and coarsely chopped
1 pound whole wheat pasta, your favorite
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly shredded Parmesan Cheese

Heat water for the pasta.

Saute the onion for 5 minutes in the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chard stems and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring. Add the chard leaves, cover, and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring once or twice, or until leaves are wilted. Stir in the prepared fava beans and set aside.

Cook the pasta, drain, and return pasta to the cooking pot. Stir in the vegetable mix from the skillet, and the chopped parsley. Distribute to serving plates, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper and topping with Parmesan.

*To prepare fresh fava beans in the amount called for in this recipe, start with about two pounds of fava bean pods.  Remove the beans, and  cook them for two minutes in salted boiling water.  Drain in a colander, and then place beans in a bowl of ice water.  Drain, and then carefully slip the outer covering off each bean (discard outer covering).  Place beans in a bowl, and they are ready to use.

Variation - substitute other prepared dry beans for the favas.

This dish is gorgeous with a dry rose wine. Enjoy while looking out over the vineyards, with Mt. Ventoux in the distance.  The bike ride to the top can wait until tomorrow.

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