Category Archives: Beans

Linguine with Lemon Cream, Fava Beans & Savoy Cabbage


I’m back! It’s been a busy 6 months since I last posted. My family survived two weddings, one on each coast (one of them was mine!), and we enjoyed a food-filled Christmas and New Year. After indulging in a few too many (okay, more than just a few) desserts and rich meals over the holidays, I was craving a veggie-heavy (meat-light) dinner this weekend.

I was fixated on making pasta with a lemon cream sauce, and the following recipe is the result. The lemon sauce just barely coats the pasta, almost like Spaghetti alla Carbonara. It tastes slightly decadent, without overpowering the fava beans or the pasta itself. It’s actually more suitable for spring than winter, but with temperatures near 60 degrees this past weekend, it felt appropriate. I’ll be back to make it again when spring eventually does come around in New York!

Happy Cooking,


Linguine with Lemon Cream, Fava Beans & Savoy Cabbage
Serves 4-5

Notes: I am lucky enough to live a block away from an Italian specialty grocery store that carries frozen, shelled fava beans, but if you can’t find fava beans you can always substitute them for frozen peas or asparagus. There is a scant amount of pancetta in this pasta, which can be replaced with bacon, or even omitted entirely. Additionally, the sage, basil, and parsley can be swapped out for any number of fresh herbs, but I really enjoyed this combination. Just make sure to use a light hand when it comes to the sage, as it can become overpowering. And finally, cabbage might seem odd in this recipe, but it becomes deliciously sweet after being sautéed with the shallots and cooked in white wine, broth, and cream. Try to find Savoy cabbage if possible, as it has thinner, more delicate leaves.

8 ounces dry linguine
8 ounces fresh or frozen shelled green fava beans (frozen peas can be substituted here)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 ounces pancetta, diced into small ¼ inch cubes
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
½ head of a medium-sized savoy cabbage, core removed and shredded
¼ cup dry white wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
4 fresh sage leaves, finely minced
1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely minced
½ cup fresh basil leaves, finely minced

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
  2. When the water boils, add the fava beans and cook until just tender. Using a slotted spoon or sieve, remove the fava beans and drain. Set aside for later. Bring the water back to a boil for the pasta.
  3. Place a large sauté pan over low heat. Add one tablespoon of extra virgin olive and the pancetta and cook over low to medium heat until the pancetta has rendered its fat and begins to crisp up and caramelize [make sure not to burn the pancetta, but to cook it slowly so that the fat has time to render out]
  4. Add one tablespoon of butter, the minced shallot and garlic, and cook for an additional 5 minutes over low heat, or until the shallot is soft and translucent.
  5. Add the shredded cabbage and increase the heat to medium. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the cabbage begins to wilt.
  6. Add the wine and reduce completely until all of the liquid has evaporated.
  7. Combine the cream and lemon zest in a small measuring cup or bowl and reserve.
  8. Add the chicken broth to the cabbage mixture and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook over medium heat for an additional 10 minutes or until the cabbage is very tender and cooked through.
  9. Add the cooked fava beans and cream and simmer for an additional 5 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced slightly.
  10. While the cream sauce is simmering, bring the pot of salted water back to a boil and add the linguine to the boiling water. Stir once to make sure that the pasta does not stick together and then cook according to the instructions on the package until al dente. Reserve a ½ cup of the pasta water and add to the vegetables and cream sauce. Season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  11. Strain the pasta. Using the same pot in which you cooked the pasta, add one tablespoon of olive oil and the pasta, tossing lightly to combine.
  12. Pour the sauce, fresh herbs, and 1/3 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano into the pot with the linguine and toss well until combined.
  13. Serve immediately with extra Parmigiano Reggiano for garnish and freshly ground black pepper.

My first attempt at pizza

I can’t believe it, but this pizza marked the very first time that I made pizza dough from scratch (I have used Trader Joe’s pizza dough in the past). In fact, I rarely make pizza, and that is largely because I live in New York City, where excellent pizza can be found on almost every block. Our favorite neighborhood pizza place is called Al Forno. It is a casual, laid-back family restaurant where the servers recognize us when we walk in, and where we know that we can count on a great arugula salad and a delicious thin-crust pizza made with fresh mozzarella cheese. It makes me hungry just thinking about it!

The recipe below came to fruition because I was inspired by a pizza that I had last year at the well-known vegetarian restaurant, Greens, in San Francisco. The pizza that I had at Greens was topped with a fresh cilantro pesto, heirloom beans, poblano peppers, and smoked cheddar. It was unique and incredibly tasty. Our pizza was supposed to be an easy weeknight dinner, so I didn’t bother roasting poblanos and instead mixed canned green chilis into pinto beans that I mashed and seasoned simply with salt and pepper. I did, however, make the cilantro pesto from scratch, combining fresh cilantro, garlic, walnuts, and a touch of parmesan cheese in the food processor.  We also didn’t have any smoked cheddar on hand (in fact, I’m not the biggest fan of smoked cheeses) so I used a combination of Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese.

When the pizza came out of my oven, I was relatively happy. It certainly didn’t look like an artisan pizza, but it tasted great despite the fact that I wasn’t thrilled with the recipe that I used to make the whole wheat pizza dough. I found a recipe for whole wheat pizza dough in Eating Well; the recipe called for part all-purpose flour and part whole wheat pastry flour. I immediately questioned the use of pastry flour, which in general is too low in protein to make good bread, but figured I would try it anyway. As I labored away in my small New York kitchen, kneading my dough for a good 20 minutes, I knew something was wrong. Despite my worst fears, the crust was certainly edible, it just didn’t have the soft, doughy spring of a good pizza dough. Next time, I’ll try a new recipe but the toppings on this pizza are certainly worth giving a try. Since I haven’t perfected the recipe, I won’t share it with you quite yet. To be continued…

Happy Cooking,

“Black beans and rice”

Apologies for the hiatus between posts! It’s been a busy few weeks, filled with weddings, visitors, and birthdays. The temperatures have become increasingly cooler in New York in the last few weeks, and I would venture to say that fall has arrived.

Every fall I find myself ready to cook heartier food like stews, roasts and pies. Recently, I made the first soup of the season and I am getting the urge to make either a pumpkin or apple bread. Plans to go apple-picking a few weeks ago were thwarted due to rainy weather, but my disappointment has at least been eased by the fact that I have been able to find some of my favorite apple varietals in the stores recently.

The following recipe is really a muddle of ingredients, but it is a perfect example of the type of food that I am craving right now. I call this recipe ‘Black Beans and Rice’ but it should really be categorized as a black bean chili. Strangely enough, I like to sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top, instead of a more suitable cheddar or cojita cheese. You could use something other than Parmesan, but I suggest that you take a leap of faith and try it, because it really does taste great. In fact, as I ate this the other night I realized that the leftover rice in my fridge would be perfect reheated and served with a simple combination of Parmesan cheese and peas. Italians would call this combination “Risi e Bisi”, which translated into English is “Rice and Peas”. Traditionally, Rise e Bisi is made with short-grain Arborio rice, but it is nearly as delicious made with long grain white or brown rice.  In fact, I think that I will go make it right now. In the meantime, enjoy the following recipe!

Happy Cooking,

“Black Beans and Rice”

Serves 4

For the Rice:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 3 cups of water
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

 For the Beans:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon mild chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 26-ounce box/can of chopped tomatoes (I like Pomî tomatoes)
  • 1 19-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro, cleaned and leaves picked (for garnish)
  • Freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese (for garnish)

For the Rice:

1.     Place the rice, water, salt, and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. As soon as the water begins to simmer, reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 45 minutes over low heat.

For the Beans:

1.     Heat a sauté pan over medium-low heat and sweat the onion and garlic in olive oil until transluscent.

2.     Add the oregano, cumin, and chili powder and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

3.     Add the tomatoes and bay leaf and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until fully flavored.

4.     Add the black beans and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with the rice, fresh cilantro, and grated parmesan cheese.