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  • Writer's pictureIsabella Akshay

Creamy One-Pot Pasta Shells with Broad Beans & Herbs

Pasta "risottata" is cooked directly in the pan (like a risotto), by gradually adding water and continuing to stir until the liquid is completely absorbed.

Broad beans, which we call “fave verdi” (green fava) are in season right now in Sicily and are sold at every corner of the streets by street vendors. We all love “fave” in Sicily and use them in a variety of dishes.

I used Conchiglie (Pasta Shells) for this fresh, summery pasta, along with fresh herbs and a touch of cooking cream. You won’t need a lot of cream (and vegan cream will work too) as the method of cooking pasta like a risotto will release a lot of starch, creating a natural creamy sauce in this dish.

Ingredients (for 4)

  • 400 g pasta shells

  • 300 g fresh broad beans, shelled

  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin oil

  • 1-2 tbsp cooking cream

  • Freshly chopped mint and parsley

  • Salt and pepper to taste


Clean the beans by removing the pod then blanch them for 3 minutes. Drain and transfer them to a bowl with cold water. Press each bean between thumb and forefinger and remove the skin (or if you prefer, you can leave the skin on).

Sauté the onion it in a large pan with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes.

Boil the pasta for half the time indicated on the packaging. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pasta from the pot to the pan with the onion. Keep the cooking water to a simmer.

To the same pan, stir in the fava beans and start adding the reserved cooking water cooking water, one ladle at a time, stirring in between until the water is absorbed.

When the pasta is cooked through and sauce is thick from all the starch, add the cooking cream and fresh herbs. Season with black pepper and serve immediately.

Word of the Day


(seashell, pronounced con·kì·glia)

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