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Fava Bean Casserole

Scafata

SERVES 4 TO 6

Scafata means "hull" and in this recipe refers to hulling or removing the outer skin of fresh fava beans. Doing this reveals a creamy bean similar in appearance to fresh lima beans. If fava beans are small, this step can be eliminated. Prepared the Umbrian way, fava beans are cooked with Swiss chard and fresh tomatoes for a nutrition-packed, unpretentious dish.

Ingredients

1 cup shelled fava beans (about 2 pounds unhulled) or lima beans

1/4 cup Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 pound Swiss chard, stemmed, washed and torn into pieces

1 pound plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into coarse pieces

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Grinding coarse black pepper

1/2 cup diced black oil cured olives

Directions

Put the fava beans in a saucepan, cover them with water, and, if they are large, boil them for about 6 minutes or just until the outer skin slips away easily from the bean when pressed between your fingers. If the beans are small, cook them about 4 minutes. Drain and refresh them under cold water. If the beans are large, remove the outer skin. Set the beans aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large 12- or 14-inch sauté pan. Stir in the onion, celery, and carrot, and cook the mixture until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the fava beans and Swiss chard. Cover the pan and allow the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes. Uncover and stir in the tomatoes. Cover and cook an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt, pepper, and olives.

Serve hot as a vegetable side dish or a luncheon dish accompanied by good coarse bread.

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