Faves a la Catalana


This is Mediterranean cooking at its simple best. Fresh, seasonal ingredients and good quality olive oil – nothing more, nothing less. This is the meatless version of the classical Catalan dish that I usually make. The traditional dish usually has slices of botifarra (Catalan blood sausage) and maybe botifarra blanca (white Catalan sausage). The most important thing about this recipe, and all seasonal cooking, is that the ingredients are as fresh as possible.


500g broad beans (preferably in their pods)
small onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 ripe tomotoes
sprig of fresh mint
sprig of fresh thyme
half a bay leaf
glass of anis
salt & black pepper

Shell the broad beans (if you’ve got kids, get them to do this and they are more likely to eat the dish). Finely chop the onion and slOOwly sweat in a heavy-bottomed frying pan with the diced garlic. Add the herbs and then the tomatoes – without skin or pips (to remove the skin, make a cross in the bottom of the tomatoes, put them in boiling water and in water with ice cubes. The skin will then come off easily.)

When the liquid from the tomotoes has evaporated, add the beans, a little water and the anis. Season and cook over a low heat for about 20 minutes. If using sausage, add after 15 minutes and cook around 5 minutes .

Serve with bread to mop up the juices.


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5 thoughts on “Faves a la Catalana

  1. re: tomato for dishes

    an economical & practical tip for preparing the sofrito (base) for this type of dish.

    if you make “pa amb tomaquet” – freeze the squeezed halves of tomato.

    then, when you need tomato to add to onion, simply defrost, the peel comes off easily as it defrosts.

    even better, liquidise several halves (if you do a load, it will keep in the fridge) & you have a heavier tomato-sauce with less liquid, which reduces cooking time in the dish (as there is less water from the tomato to evaporate)

    most importantly, it means that you don´t waste those halves of tomato once they’ve had the juicy bit squeezed out of them…… crafty thinking, eh? (& it satisfies the “waste-not-want-not” inherent in all “careful” cooks)……….

    well, it does me anyway………….

  2. Brilliant – this looks so delicious! I’ve been looking for recipes for broad beans. And el villano, thanks for the tip for pa amb tomaquet – we’re always munching away on the leftover tomato but it gets dull after a while…

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