Fava beans are almost always removed from the pods before preparing them, although it is possible to braise whole fava bean pods.
Fava beans are notoriously time-consuming to prepare because of the shelling process. Removing fava beans from the pods is easy enough. But each individual fava bean also is enclosed in a shell. Removing the fava beans from their shells requires blanching them first.
Fava beans are used in a number of different recipes and can be prepared using a variety of cooking techniques. Fava beans are frequently braised and used in stews. Fava beans can also be sautéed, or marinated and served in salads.
Fava beans can used as a main ingredient in making puréed soups. Fava beans are also frequently served with pasta or risotto.
A simple recipe for fava beans would be to sauté them until tender and then serve topped with melted butter and shaved pecorino cheese and freshly ground black pepper. Bacon or pancetta would be an excellent addition to this fava beans recipe.