So, it’s late May or early June, and you have found some lovely fresh fava beans. Dilemma: what do you make? If you owned a wine bar in Venice, you would probably puree them and serve on crostini, accompanied by cicchetti and a glass of Prosecco.
However, we are not in Venice tonight, and Barbara is out at a Quilting meeting, so naturally, we make Spaghetti con Fave, Lattuga e Pancetta! To accomplish this, we need some first-rate pasta, a little leftover Bibb lettuce (lattuga), and some of the finest Pancetta — always available in my freezer. [Aside: if you have only three items in your freezer, in my opinion, they must include ice cubes, frozen wild organic blueberries from Maine, and pancetta — not necessarily in that order.]
Next, we go to the bookshelf for guidance; David Downie’s book on Roman cooking leaps to the foreground:
This book seems authentic, and has plenty of stories to accompany the recipes, including some well-researched descriptions of the influence of Jewish cooking on the cuisine of Rome, which the author also understands from his personal experience. Anyway, our answer is found on pages 114-116:
We select a very fine spaghetti from Idylwilde, and start cooking.
In less than 20 minutes, we are ready to eat.
For the wine, we are fortunate to have a lovely bottle of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo already open: