- 2 pounds dried fava beans
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 bay leaves, torn into quarters
- 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 cups finely chopped yellow onions
- 1 cup finely chopped green bell peppers
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Two 6-ounce cans tomato paste
- Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large heavy saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the favas and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Cover and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water until cool enough to handle.
- To peel the beans, gently pull open the dark end of the skin of each bean with the tip of a small sharp knife, or with your fingernail, and peel back the skin. Put the peeled beans in a bowl.
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the bay leaves, crushed red pepper flakes, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and heat for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add the onions and bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Stir in the tomato paste and 7 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.
- Add the fava beans and continue simmering until the beans are tender, about 1 hour. Serve immediately, or cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to three days.