Chef Mike Lata's spring version of pasta e fagioli, the Italian soup, uses fresh fava beans in place of borlotti or cannellini beans, along with meaty bits of bacon and a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
2 thick slices of lean, meaty bacon, cut crosswise 1/2 inch thick
1 large carrot, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large garlic clove, very finely chopped
One 3-inch-long rosemary sprig
1 quart chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 cup tubetti or other small pasta
Freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the shelled fava beans and blanch until bright green, about 1 minute. Drain and peel the favas.
In a large saucepan, heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until starting to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the carrot, onion, garlic and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, cover and simmer over low heat until the carrot is tender, about 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain.
Discard the rosemary sprig and season the soup with salt and pepper. Add the favas, pasta and mint leaves. Spoon the soup into bowls, drizzle with olive oil and serve, passing the cheese at the table.
The blanched and peeled fava beans can be refrigerated separately overnight. The recipe can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated overnight. Gently reheat the soup before proceeding.