As I’ve said before, pasta recipes are among my favorites because there are so many options, with so many ingredients.  I love the rich heavy sauces, that simmer on the stove and perfume the entire house (if not neighborhood), and I also love the light quick dishes that take 20 minutes to make, but are still packed with flavor and bite.  In this recipe video, I show you one of those 20 minute pasta dishes, that is easy, delicious, and substantial: Spaghetti with Chicken and Fava Beans.  While the Favas take a bit of work to clean; really it’s not more than about 15 minutes.  With another 15, you have this dish on the table and it’s absolutely delicious.  Hope you enjoy it!

Recipe Overview and Keys to Success

To make the best Spaghetti with Chicken and Fava Beans, make sure you do these few things:

  • As always, keep the pasta al dente.  That means checking on the spaghetti a few minutes before the package suggests; and because we’re going finish cooking the pasta in the sauce, taking it out about a minute before it’s done
  • I like to smash a few of the fava beans with a fork into the sauce.  The smashed fava beans help to create a bit of thickness/viscosity with the sauce, that better “holds” on to the pasta
  • At the end, taste the pasta and make sure it’s seasoned right.  Salt and pepper is very important on these simple dishes, and a squeeze of lemon juice will help brighten up all the flavors.
  • Finally, don’t over cook the fava beans.  Better a bit underdone than over done.

RECIPE FOR SPAGHETTI WITH CHICKEN AND FAVA BEANS

Ingredients (for 5 - 6 servings)

  • 1/3 lbs of spaghetti
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/3 cup of cleaned fava beans
  • 1 large shallot diced
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Lemon
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1 medium tomato diced

Making the Spaghetti

  • First clean and blanch the Fava Beans; set aside
  • Bring a pot of salted water up to the boil for the spaghetti
  • Season both sides of the chicken breast, and sear it off in a sauté pan; set it aside to cool
  • After 5 minutes, dice the chicken into bite size pieces (you can also use leftover chicken)
  • Drop the spaghetti into the boiling water and stir every few minutes until cooked; while the spaghetti cooks do the next steps
  • In the pan you cooked the chicken in, add a bit more olive oil if needed, and sauté the shallot and garlic over medium heat until softened (about 2 minutes)
  • Add the fava beans, and the chicken stock, turn the heat to high and allow the stock to reduce by half
  • Use a fork to crush 5 – 6 fava beans and mix with the stock
  • Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper
  • About this time, the spaghetti should be just about cooked.  If not, turn the heat down on the sauce until the pasta is cooked
  • Drain the spaghetti off, and toss into the sauce over high heat; add the diced tomato
  • Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine
  • If the spaghetti looks dry you can add a bit more stock or pasta water
  • Turn the heat off, and add the butter and the parmesan cheese, toss to coat
  • Taste the spaghetti and adjust the seasoning if needed
  • Serve it up!

I think you’re going to love this dish, it’s simple and easy.  Add a bit of red pepper flake for some heat if you’d like, and I hope you enjoy it!

Wine Recommendation:  There really isn’t much heavy about this spaghetti chicken and fava bean recipe, so I’m going to suggest a light white wine.  I think a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which are typically grassy, and fresh, would be a perfect wine pairing.

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