There is no bean whose flavor is so gently pleasing as the fava bean, and there is no method that elicits that flavor so purely as boiling them with olive oil and sage. My husband and I have a passion for fava beans, a passion that in Italy can be requited only for a brief period in the spring. For Easter I make them Roman-style, with olive oil and cured pork jowl or pancetta, and serve them with baby lamb or, when both artichokes and peas are very young, in that other extraordinary dish, vignarola. But I keep my eyes open for the first, small, tender fava of the year, and then this is the recipe I would use, the one that brings me closest to their essence, undistracted by other ingredients.
© 1997 Marcella Hazan estate. All rights reserved.