If you are vacationing in an exquisitely romantic place, spending your days by a spectacular pool overlooking a picture-perfect harbor, what do you discuss with the terrifically good-looking, friendly pool attendant? If the place is Portofino on the Italian Riviera, and the pool belongs to a hotel called the Splendido, and the pool attendant happens to be
We were talking about fava beans, the most alluring of fresh beans, regrettably limited to a short period in early spring. I love to use them in soup, or stewed with pork jowl in the Roman style, but what I most look forward to, when the season is at hand, are the first young, tender fava that I shell and eat raw, sprinkling them with a little coarse salt, and accompanying them with a choice Tuscan or Sardinian pecorino.
Marò, a creamy emulsion of raw fava beans, cheese, garlic, and olive oil, can be used as an appetizer spread on crackers or bread; as a condiment for boiled meats, cold baked ham, or roast beef; as a dip for raw oysters; over steamed mussels; or as a pasta sauce. The density of the marò made from the recipe here is intended for use as a spread or dip. If used as a condiment, it should be loosened with a little more olive oil. If you want it on pasta, hold back some of the water in which you cooked the pasta and add a tablespoon or two to the marò, when tossing it with the pasta. A boxed factory-made dry pasta such as spaghettini, thin spaghetti, or fusilli would be the one to choose.
As an appetizer or snack or with an aperitif, spread over rounds of grilled or toasted crusty bread. As a condiment, spoon over boiled meats or fish, or over cold sliced roast beef.
© 1997 Marcella Hazan estate. All rights reserved.