Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fava bean pesto with shrimp


I scored some fresh fava beans at the asian market and wanted to use them. I also had planned a pretty mundane middle of the week (PMMW) shrimp and pasta dish for dinner. I then went looking on the intertubes for maybe an idea to spruce it up a little. I happen to find a killer recipe by one of my favorite chefs ever. I "borrowed" his pesto idea. I would have to say that Manresa is my favorite restaurant that I have ever been to (and I have been to many) in Northern California.

So, I boiled the shrimp as he said to do and I made some spaghetti.


I made the Fava bean and mint pesto


I threw it all together and voila!


See that dainty little portion on that plate? I could have eaten my dish of it as well as Dr. Foods, but he gets grumpy and dangerous if I try to steal his dinner.

Below is the recipe that *I* made but if you want what David Kinch (god) made you can check it out at Cravings- Food and Wine Pairings website.

David Kinch

Fava bean, almond, and mint pesto
1 cup shelled young fava beans (about 50, from 1 pound unshelled)
1 clove garlic
10 fresh mint leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 olive oil–packed anchovy fillet, finely chopped
10 almonds, lightly toasted and salted
3 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
About 1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Few drops of fresh lemon juice (optional)

8 large shrimp
cooked angel hair pasta (I used about 1/4 of a package.

1. First, make the pesto, which is best started in a mortar and finished in a food processor. If you don’t have a mortar, a food processor can be used for the whole process. Bring a saucepan filled with salted water to a boil. Add the fava beans and blanch for about 30 seconds. Drain immediately and immerse in cold water to cool completely. Squeeze each bean to free it from its tough outer skin. Set aside. (This can be done up to 1 day in advance; cover and refrigerate until needed.)

2. Using a mortar and pestle, crush together the garlic, mint, and a pinch of salt until a rough purée forms. Add the anchovy, followed by the almonds and continue to crush and pound the ingredients until a paste forms, then transfer to a food processor. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, combine the garlic, mint, anchovy, almonds, and pinch of sea salt in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. If the chopping is labored, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.

3. Add the fava beans to the processor and pulse until well combined but some texture remains. Be careful not to overwork the mixture, as you want it to have some texture. Add the cheese and pulse until well mixed. Then, with the motor running, very slowly add the olive oil in a fine stream until the mixture is the consistency of a pesto. Season with salt and the lemon juice, transfer to bowl, and set aside.

4. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Drop in the shrimp, then immediately remove the pan from the heat, cover the pan, and let stand until the shrimp turn pink and are opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the shrimp in a colander, and peel and devein while still warm.

5. To assemble, toss the pesto, pasta, and shrimp together.


  1. Love this! Sounds incredible...I adore new flavors of pesto:)

  2. Sounds wonderful! Just printed it...

  3. pretty as a picture!! when I like something I could eat the whole pot! I'm cooking dinner for Paula again on Saturday night so I'm frantically planning the menu.

  4. I'm a little obsessed with fresh favas right now, so this pesto sounds absolutely divine (especially with mint... mmmm... mint) Thanks for sharing!

  5. pretty as a picture!! when I like something I could eat the whole pot! I'm cooking dinner for Paula again on Saturday night so I'm frantically planning the menu.