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Fava Bean Risotto

This is an easy weeknight risotto with a hearty pour of white wine packed with the flavor of buttery, nutty fava beans. Come springtime, go for fresh favas—they take a bit of prep work, but the end result is well worth the effort.

2 cups shelled fresh or frozen fava beans
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 cups arborio rice
½ cup white wine
5 cups vegetable or chicken stock, hot
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup grated Pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving

Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil and cook the fava beans for 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and tip the beans into a bowl of cold water. Drain again, then pop each bean out of its skin and set aside.

In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-low heat. Sweat the onion until translucent, then add the garlic, taking care it doesn’t burn. Add the rice to the pan, giving it a good stir. Pour in the wine and cook until it’s all been absorbed. Add the hot stock, ladle-by-ladle, stirring well between each addition and topping up only when the previous ladleful has been absorbed.

When all of the stock has been fully absorbed, take a bite and check rice for doneness—it should still be slightly chewy, but not crunchy. Add more stock, if needed. Stir in the fava beans, spinach, and Pecorino cheese, scoop into bowls and top with additional grated Pecorino cheese before serving.

Serves 6.

Reprinted with permission from Very Fond of Food: A Year in Recipes by Sophie Dahl, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

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