The flavors in this dish are as simple as can be and not a lot of fuss, but the smoked sausage and the sautéed leeks add an umami "bang" that makes it feel way more luxurious than it is. When I make these kinds of dishes I feel like a farmer using their garden bounty as nourishment.
Smoked Sausage with Potatoes & Fava Beans
180 g fava beans (out of the pod, but with the white shell still on)
175 g smoked sausage - cubed
150 g zucchini - cubed
300 g new potatoes (thinned-skinned & small)
175 g leeks (lighter green/white only) - sliced 1/2 cm (about 1 leek)
1 T butter
2 T olive oil
2 t thinly-sliced chives
Get a steamer pot ready with some boiling water. Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise. Toss them in 1 T olive oil, salt & pepper. When the water is boiling, drop them in the basket and steam them for between 20-30 minutes depending on their size. You want them to bed VERY soft when stabbed with a knife.
In a separate pot boil some water with salt to blanch the fava beans. You will be blanching them for a minute or two depending on their size. The beans should be completely cooked through, because they get tossed into the dish at the very end. So 1, maybe 2 minutes is enough for most fresh fava beans. The smaller they are, the shorter the amount of cooking time. Once removed from the boiling water, drop them in a bath of ice water, or run consistently cold water over them until they are no longer warm on the INSIDE. (the outer shell can hold the warmth, so keep that water running.) If the fava beans are frozen however, then simply defrost them and remove the outside white shell afterwards. Once blanched and before eating, the white outer shell must be removed from the fresh ones as well . To do this, pinch one side of the white shell and break a piece off gently with your finger nail, then you can push the bean out through the hole. Try to keep them from breaking if possible. Set the beans aside in a bowl till the very end. Throw away the shells.
Next, cut your smoked sausage & zucchini in uniform small cubes. The leeks can be cleaned and then cut lengthwise through the middle. Lay the cut (flat side) of the leeks on the cutting board and cut 1/2 cm strips .
When beginning the final stages of this dish, I like to make sure the potatoes will be done first (they can also stay in the steamer pot with the lid on and the heat off until ready to use). In a large thick-bottomed pan, melt the butter and the rest of the oil on medium heat. Once hot, add the leeks, some s&p and stir well to coat. Cover with a lid and check in another minute, tossing around again. After one more minute the leeks should be wilted, You do NOT want them to brown or get any color at all. Slow and steady wins the race with leeks. If they need another minute, keep cooking. Once wilted you can add the zucchini and cook for another couple of minutes until it is almost cooked through. Add the smoked sausage and warm it up. You want to make sure that the potatoes are done and in the pan before you add the fava beans. Warm everything up and serve with some copped chives on top.
N.B. You can always substitute green peas for fava beans during the rest of the year.