Fava Bean Sauce

This is a good sauce to do when you have more mature beans which can have a more assertive taste and are starchier. This sauce is also excellent made with young favas, giving it a really bright taste, making it a great sauce for fish like salmon or halibut. If you choose not to purée the sauce, you can leave it a little chunky and use very little stock and have a topping for the fish instead.


1 1/2 cups of peeled favas
1 cloves of garlic, peeled, germ removed, minced finely (2 cloves if you are using mature beans and you want more garlic)
1/4 white or yellow onion, minced finely
1/2 tablespoon fresh marjoram or oregano, minced
1 cup of mild vegetable stock or water
Extra Virgin olive oil as needed
Salt and pepper to taste


In a small sauté pan, sauté the onions and garlic in a little olive oil until very soft, but do allow them to color.

Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and add the beans. Gently cook the beans a few minutes, stirring to coat the beans.

Add the stock, and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the herbs and simmer until the beans are very tender. Add liquid to just the top of the beans.

As soon as the beans are very tender, but not disintegrating, remove from the heat and let cool a little. Use a wand mixer to puree to a sauce consistency or transfer to a blender and puree. If the liquid is too thin, cook it down a little to thicken, or add a little liquid to thin. After the favas have been pureed, with the motor running, drizzle in a little olive oil(around a tablespoon or 2) to emulsify the sauce and give it a sheen.  

If you are using the beans as a topping, use less liquid. Use only what is needed to keep the beans from scorching. When soft, mash the beans so there are still large chunks of whole bean. Use olive oil to achieve a velvety texture and give the beans some liquidity.

Taste and season with salt and pepper. The sauce is ready for use. Keep warm until ready to sauce.

If using as a topping, it may be used warm or room temperature.


  • This makes an elegant and full flavored sauce for grilled or pan roasted fish (think halibut, sword, salmon) or even sautéed fish (sole, tilapia).
  • This sauce can also be used as a pasta sauce. Add a little lemon juice and toss with pasta and bits of vegetables (you can add the chopped vegetables to the pasta water in the last 4-5 minutes of cooking if you wish to make a simple, really quick dish). For pasta, grating Romano over the dish is a perfect match. This purée would work saucing a sauté of summer squash, too.
  • Leaving the favas a little chunky and using more oil and little stock is great for serving as a dip or topping crostini.
  • You can also toss it with cubes of firm tofu and drizzle with a good balsamic vinegar for a salad, or use this to dress sautéed broccoli or cauliflower.
  • This sauce is also good with steamed shrimp served hot or cold or pounded grilled boneless skinless chicken.
  • For a fun twist, add small chunks of avocado to the chunky fava dip.

YIELD: Serves 4

Print Friendly, PDF & Email