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Macco di Fave (Dried Fava Bean Puree)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Macco di Fave (Dried Fava Bean Puree) style=

Here, I say it: I'm with the minimalist for minimalism. And when it comes to minimalism in the kitchen, I just go into raptures. Yes, because recipes that start listing more than the three or four ingredients humanly acceptable make me really sick, striking some sort of culinary terror, and awakening in me two opposite temptations:
a) the unnatural and deceptive desire to run for cover to the nearest take-away, to please my laziness;
b) the need for a bowl of plain white rice (even without parmigiano cheese!), to accommodate the aspiration to the ethereal purity of the lonely hero.

I realize that starting a food blog was not really a great idea. True, I have a soft spot for colorful salts and flours made from mysterious grains, and over time I've collected an embarrassing series of powders, spices and other rather enigmatic concoctions (all that being edible material, ça va sans dire), not to mention bowls and pottery on sale, redundant cutlery and trendy gadgets. Still, if it was for me, I'd post spaghetti pomdoro 304 days a year, reserving the approximate 52 Sundays for gnocchi (always strictly with tomato sauce), and the remaining 9 days for the surprise dish. An effective blog, indeed.

Therefore, you can imagine my joy when I tried this phenomenal macco di fave, in my to-do list from time immemorial: the linearity of a minimal dish meets the vanity of a post. A perfect combination. In my dream blog, macco found its way all of a sudden, winning as many as 8 of the 9 surprise-dish days. Because to be more minimal and more delicious, I think it's really difficult.

Macco di Fave
(Dried Fava Bean Puree)

for 4-5 people

dried, peeled fava beans about 1 lb.
olive oil, salt, pepper, water as needed
garlic 2 cloves
wild fennel, chicory, kale, dandelion, rapini, mustard greens
(or some other green stuff of choice)

one big bunch

Soak the beans in a bowl of water overnight. The next day, drain and cook them over medium-low heat in a large pan, barely covered with water. Cook until the beans are tender and begin to come apart, skimming when needed, stirring occasionally, and adding more water if necessary. If you’d like, you could also add a carrot and a celery stalk to the cooking water, or start by sautéing a sliced spring onion in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, but I preferred to stick with the most proletarian version out there: fava beans, fava beans, absolutely fava beans, with the sole addition of a good pinch of salt near the end. When the beans are tender, reach for the evergreen immersion blender in the cupboard, and puree until creamy, adding oil little by little until you get a smooth texture.
In the meantime, wash the greens (in my case it was some Russian kale, a kind of purple kale, slightly sweeter and less pungent, something I didn't even know until the day before yesterday, to be honest); remove the tough ends and cook them gently in a large saucepan with an inch of water. Drain, remove excess water and sauté them in a pan with a little olive oil and the garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the macco in a bowl with the greens in the middle, and serve with a dash of olive oil and a sprinkling of black pepper.
AB said... [Reply to comment]

Awesome. I say keep on expanding those 9 days a year if it comes out like this. Gnocchi is nothing to sneeze at though.

Spicie Foodie said... [Reply to comment]

This looks so delicious, going to bookmark it. Thanks!

One Girl In The Kitchen said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks! I was skeptical at first, but it is really good. It is a traditional dish from Sicily.

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