Serves 4-6

Fava Beans, Roman Style


Pancetta, one half-inch thick slice
3 pounds unshelled young fresh fava beans
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or more to preference
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup water or broth
Black pepper, freshly ground Salt


Unroll the pancetta and cut it into stripes ¼ inch wide.

Shell the beans and wash in cold water.

Cook the onion in the oil until it becomes translucent, then add the pancetta strips and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Stir in beans and pepper. Add water and simmer, covered, on low heat for 8 to 10 minutes if the beans are young and tender, or up to 15 minutes if the beans are larger and tougher. Add extra tablespoons of water if necessary. When the beans are tender, add salt, and cook for a few more minutes uncovered until the last of the water has evaporated.