Another way to cook pasta – Pasta "risottata" with fava beans, zucchini and cherry tomatoes
Un’altro modo per cucinare la pasta – Pasta risottata con fave, zucchine e pomodorini
After this weekend ordeal, I needed to eat something to soothe my mind…Pasta especially pasta in bianco (with burro e parmigiano, butter and parmesan) is a dish that always remind me of when I was a child and sick, my mom would cook this dish for me who supposedly helped to cure whatever sickness one may have. It did not but, it’s sometimes good to believe it.
You cannot tell an Italian how to cook pasta, it’s ingrained in their DNA…Like the Swiss and skying, it seems like they’re born with skies on.
There are indeed many ways to cook pasta, one less known method is called “risottata“, meaning like a risotto where broth is added gradually. I did not come up with it, it’s a very old Italian method of cooking pasta! so, no pasta is not always boiled in salted water, drained and served topped with sauce. There is an interesting and funny article in English about the different cooking methods and cooking time of pasta on Identità Golose.
My father loves pasta overcooked…well at least well cooked, my mom and I, if it’s not VERY al dente, we don’t eat it, so usually the al dente eaters, take the pasta out of the pot first while the other ones can wait a while longer. He always looks at us horrified, mà come potate mangiare la pasta così cruda???? (how can you eat pasta that raw), well we can.
Pasta risottata being cooked a long time, takes longer than the usual way of boiling it in water. The risottata method allows it to keep its starch, therefore develop a particular creaminess (I wanted to show that creaminess on that second photo even it’s a screaming, right in your face type of a picture!)…can you just imagine the deliciousness of the pasta while having absorbed all that flavorful broth? It’s really my favorite way to cook and eat pasta. You need to try to believe it. For this cooking method, you need short pasta (pasta corta) such as small penne, or anything that size.
The recipe is quite simple, the greatness of the pasta comes first from the risottata method, then the combination of the ingredients make it a real treat.
Ingredients for 2
- 160 g short pasta
- 100 g fresh fava bean, pod removed
- 2 zucchini, diced in small cubes
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
- vegetable broth
- 1 shallot
- 1 garlic clove
- Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated
- salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in a pan and add garlic, stir for a few minutes, then add zucchini, cover and let cook until the zucchini start to be cooked but firm, then add tomatoes, salt and pepper. Let cook until the tomatoes start to soften. Set aside.
In the meantime, blanch fava bean grains in boiling water for about 2 minutes depending on the size of the grains. IF the grains are small and tender, one minute is enough. Drain and peel beans. Add to the pan with the other vegetables.
In a pot, heat olive oil, add shallots and brown them. Add pasta and proceed like you would for a risotto, adding gradually broth to cook it. When the pasta has reached the desired consistency (it will need to be slightly creamy), add vegetables and parmesan. Stir well and serve hot.
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