Mashed Potatoes and Fava Beans
Purea di Fave e Patate

serves: 6

When you crave the comfort of mashed potatoes but want a bit of something more, this is the way to go. Favas are best in the late spring, but frozen favas are good, and lima beans make a fine substitute when no favas are to be found. This recipe works with other vegetables as well. Mashed potatoes with Swiss chard is an old family favorite; spinach and string beans also work well in this recipe. So, as I always tell you, do not be shy about substituting whatever you have in your refrigerator. Take my recipe and run with it.

2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 fresh bay leaves
2 pounds fava beans, shelled and peeled , (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for se
1/2 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano


Put the potatoes, garlic, and bay leaves in a pot with water to cover. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are just beginning to become tender, 10 to 12 minutes or more, depending on size.

Add the favas, and cook until both the potatoes and favas are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes more.

Drain. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Over low heat, coarsely mash the potatoes and favas with the salt and olive oil. Turn off the heat, stir in the grated cheese, and serve, drizzled with a little olive oil on top.