Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. Cook the fava beans in the boiling water until very tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and refresh in and ice bath. Drain again on paper towels, then peel the beans. Place the beans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse, drizzling in 4 tablespoons olive oil to make a smooth puree. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and slices of bread, a few at a time, and fry in the oil until browned on both sides. Remove the bread, spread with the fava puree, sprinkle with the chopped fennel and serve.
Recipe copyright 2000, Mario Batali. All Rights Reserved.