Orecchiette with fava beans, fresh ricotta and basil

  • Portions: 4/6 pp
  • Level: 1/5
  • Preparation: 20 min
  • Cooking: 10 min
  • Season: Spring

Orecchiette pasta with fava beans, fresh ricotta and basilico. A fantastic, quick, easy to make dish, but also is very light, aromatic, fresh and filling.
Orecchiette is a short round pasta from Puglia known in english as “little ears”, with their resemblance to the human ear. Now popular all over Italy this little pasta has grown into not only an Italian favorite but popular all around the globe. With its great potential of holding sauces and capturing texture and size it is no wonder we are now seeing more and more dishes using this pasta.

Fava beans or in Tuscany know as Baccelli are a highlight to any going cook in spring, with there with their buttery texture and slightly bitter, lovely nutty flavor combined with a delicate, soft well rounded ricotta, brings a wonderful pasta into a complete dish.


  • 1/2kg unshelled fava beans (about 2 cups shelled)
  • 500g uncooked orecchiette pasta
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 250g fresh ricotta cheese
  • 125g grated baked ricotta
  • 1 small bunch of basil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Remove beans from pods; discard pods. Cook beans in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove beans with a slotted spoon. Plunge beans into ice water; drain. Remove tough outer skins from beans; discard skins. Set beans aside.

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente, reserve a little of the cooking water and toss the pasta with fresh ricotta and fava beans until well combined, rip up the basil by hand (doing this maintains aroma and color of the basil) and add to the pasta, toss again with olive oil and black pepper. Top with grated baked ricotta or Parmigiano Reggiano.

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