Sicilian Pasta with Fava Beans Recipe - 2 Dads with Baggage

Sicilian Pasta with Fava Beans Recipe

This delicious Sicilian Pasta with Fava Beans recipe was passed down through generations of our family from my great grandmother, who lived her entire life in Castelvetrano, Sicily. My nana made it for me when I was little, and it was by far my favorite pasta dish for my entire childhood.

I would sit in her love-filled kitchen, perched on a booster seat on top of one of her yellow naugahyde chairs. She would bring me a delicious bowl of soupy Pasta cu Favi (in the Sicilian dialect) and I would tuck in for a feast. When I make it now, I feel her love and it takes me right back to that kitchen in Sacramento long ago.

fava beans at Little Italy Mercato
Three baskets full of fava beans was just the right amount to bring home from the farmers market.

Fava Beans

Fresh fava beans are in season only for a few weeks in early summer, and now’s the time to find them at your local farmer’s market. We’re fortunate to live near San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood, where the Little Italy Mercato takes over several blocks every Saturday morning. Strolling through the Mercato is always a treat for the senses, and I typically come home with some delicious ingredients. This time it was fava beans!

fava beans being shelled in the kitchen
Preparing the fava beans for cooking is a bit of a chore, but entirely worth it.

Fava beans take a little bit of preparation before they can be cooked. After removing the beans from their shells, they have to then be peeled. Once the outer casing is removed, the tender green meat inside is sweet, delicious and slightly nutty in flavor. Believe me, it’s worth the work.

shelled fava beans
Once shelled, the fava must still be peeled to reveal the sweet inner bean.

Sicilian Pasta with Fava Beans Recipe

This recipe is really quite easy – I hope you like this dish as much as I always have.

Sicilian Pasta with Fava Beans Recipe
Sicilian Pasta with Fava Beans was one of my childhood favorites.
  • 1 1/2 cups shelled and peeled fava beans
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lb fresh pasta (my nana always used orecchiette or shell pasta)
  • 2 tbs chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lots of grated romano cheese (lots)

Set a pot of water to boil for cooking the pasta noodles.

In a pan over medium heat, combine 1/4 cup of the olive oil with the diced onion and cook until tender. Add garlic, salt, pepper and chicken stock, heating until just beginning to bubble.

Cook pasta al dente. Drain and put back into the pot, adding the other 1/4 cup of olive. Stir and set aside.

Add fava beans to bubbling pan, cooking for 2-3 minutes until just tender. Do not overcook or you will get mush!

Combine fava bean mixture with pasta, stirring well. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle generously with cheese and add a bit of parsley for garnish. Serve and enjoy!

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    9 thoughts on “Sicilian Pasta with Fava Beans Recipe

      1. I know! I hate that too. We’re working on getting all the recipes automated so you can do just that. Thanks for being patient while we get it organized!

    1. I love fava beans! Reminds me of my mom’s recipe. Haven’t had them in years. I can’t wait to try this! Can you please tell me, how many people would this recipe feed? Thank you.

      1. Hi Gia – This is the perfect season for fava beans! The recipe is meant to serve 4 people. I hope you like it.

    2. I just came to the realization that every bean is touched by your grandmother’s loving hands. This is truly a dish made with love.

    3. Do you have a recipe for a fave bean and pasta pie made on St Joseph’s Day
      I use to make it with my Grandma but cannot find it
      It was a Sicilian dish
      Greatly appreciated if you know it send it to me
      Thank you!

      1. I’ve found a lot of delicious-looking fava bean recipes, but no pasta pie. That sounds good though – I hope you find it!

    4. 3 cups of chicken stock seems like a lot for this recipe if it’s not cooked down. Can you confirm?

      Also, the process? Pot barely comes to a bubble, then it keeps bubbling until you cook the pasta al dente and drain it, then add the favas to the bubbling pot?

      1. Hi Jason – it’s a soupy pasta dish, so that this the correct amount of stock. Cook the pasta separately. Cook the rest of the ingredients and then add the cooked pasta, stir and serve!

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