Pasta with Lima Beans and Arugula Recipe

Pasta with Lima Beans and Arugula

Pasta con Fave e Rucola, a delicate dish of pasta with lima beans and arugula (rucola, rocket). An easy recipe to prepare. You can use tagliatelle, fettuccine, or pappardelle.

Yield: 4

Time: 45 minutes


  • 12-14 oz (360-400 g) fresh tagliatelle, fettuccine or pappardelle pasta, quantity depends on how hungry everyone is
  • 1 lb (450 g) fresh or frozen lima beans
  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • 5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable stock
  • 1 cup (240 ml) light heavy cream
  • 1 bunch of arugula (rocket)
  • Pecorino Romano shavings for garnish


Bring water to a boil and add salt and cook fresh lima beans until tender 5-8 minutes. If using frozen ones, cook according to package instructions. Set aside about 4 tablespoons of the cooked lima beans. You will need them later to make the sauce.  Keep remaining beans warm.

To make the lima bean sauce, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small saucepan and sauté the shallots until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add the white wine and reduce it to half. Add the 4 tablespoons lima beans and cook them 5 minutes further. Add some vegetable stock to cover the bean/shallot mix and let it simmer until very soft, almost a purée. When done and while still warm, run it through the blender. Add the remaining 2 tablespoon olive oil, the grated Pecorino Romano cheese, and some freshly ground black pepper. If the consistency of the purée is still too thick add more vegetable stock. Transfer mixture to a small saucepan and stir in enough light cream little by little to obtain a smooth sauce. Taste for salt and pepper again. Keep it warm.

In the meantime cook the pasta (tagliatelle, fettuccine, or pappardelle) in saltwater until “al dente”.  Drain and set aside about 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid.


Return the drained pasta to the cooking pot and add the bean sauce. Toss it gently. Add the reserved lima beans and arugula. Toss it gently again. If pasta seems dry, add the reserved pasta liquid little by little. The sauce should cover the pasta and not be pasty. Divide pasta over 4 plates and serve it with freshly shaved Pecorino Romano cheese on top.

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