Dried fava beans are no substitute for the fresh beans, but you don’t have to visit the shores of the Mediterranean or arrive in Rome in the spring to appreciate this delicacy. Asian stores sell fresh fava beans and the dried beans are relatively easy to grow.
Tinned broad beans should be avoided. Cooked ham or pork are reliable options but the broad beans must be fresh.
The ratio of beans to bacon should be 2:1, beans to pork cheek 4:1. Some versions call for both bacon and pork.
- 1 kg fresh young beans, blanched in boiling water, chilled
- 250 g guanciale (cured pork cheek), sliced
- 1 large onion, chopped finely
- 50 g olive oil
- Black Pepper
- Sea Salt
Fry the onion in the oil until it takes on colour at the edges. Add the pork, coating it in the oil and onion and fry gently for three minutes. Turn the heat down and carefully incorporate the beans. Some chefs like to remove the husks for a sweeter flavour from the beans but it is not necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in enough water to half cover the mixture. Check the tenderness of the beans after ten minutes. They are ready when they are soft to the bite.