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swirl and savor

Orrechiette with Fresh Fava Beans and Gulf Shrimp

Beth Ribblett

A delightful surprise this week at our local Crescent City Farmers Market was the appearance of one of my favorite very seasonal vegetables, Fava Beans! I was so excited to see those heaping baskets of beans that I quickly came up with a recipe and found most of what I needed there at the market.

We served this with one of my favorite Sicilian whites, that I'm sure I have written about before, the Principe Butera Insolia. This is such an amazing food wine and the lemon zest in the recipe brought out the delicious lemon and honeyed notes in the wine. Great acidity yet a nice full, roundness on the palate it is a staple on our shelves and we even visited the winery on our wine and culinary tour of Sicily last year. Click here for my post on our visit and the wine, Butera Insolia.


* 1 lb Fresh Fava Beans, in the pod (yields about a cup when shelled)
* 3 T Olive Oil
* 1 T Butter
* 2 Cloves Slivered Garlic
* 1 oz Pancetta Cut Into Tiny Dice,
* 3/4 lb Large Shelled Gulf Shrimp
*1/3 Cup White Wine (I used the Insolia)
* 1 Big Pinch Red Chile Flakes
* 2 T Chopped Fresh Basil
* 1/2 Cup Ripe Tomato, seeded, diced
* 2 t Grated Lemon Zest
* 8 oz Dry Orecchiette Pasta
* Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper

Garnish with
* Freshly Grated Parmesan
* Basil Sprigs


Remove beans from the pod and drop into boiling salted water for 1-2 minutes. Strain and immediately drop into ice water to stop the cooking. When cool, drain and remove the tough bitter outer skin. Set beans aside.

Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet and saute garlic over moderate heat until soft but not brown, add pancetta and saute 1 minute longer until translucent.

Turn up heat, add shrimp, fava beans, chile flakes, wine and basil and toss until shrimp just turn pink, about 2 minutes. Add tomato, lemon zest and pasta and toss to warm through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with shavings of cheese and basil sprigs.