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Fava Bean and Macaroni Soup

Minestra di Fava e Anelletti


When I am up to my elbows in biscotti dough during the holidays, I like to have supper ready and waiting. That's when I'm sure to have a large soup pot full of fava bean and macaroni soup on the back burner. Dried fava beans, which are available year-round, and anelletti, small ring-shaped pasta, make this a very satisfying soup. Beef bouillon cubes and water can be substituted for the stock.


2 cups (10 ounces) dried split fava beans

1 1/2 cups Anelletti or other small macaroni

2 tablespoons Filippo Berio olive oil

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

One 16-ounce can plum tomatoes, diced, juice reserved

4 cups beef stock

Fine sea salt to taste

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese for sprinkling


Put the fava beans in a large pot, add 8 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Cook the beans, covered, for 12 minutes. Add the anelletti and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes, or until the macaroni is al dente and the beans are tender but not mushy. Drain well.

While the beans and macaroni are cooking, heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and parsley, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, until the onions are wilted. Add the tomatoes, the reserved juice, and the beef stock, bring to a simmer, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the salt.

Stir the fava beans and macaroni into the soup. Add the peas and cook for 3 to 5 minutes longer. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with the cheese.

Note: The longer this soup sits, the thicker it gets. If you prefer, thin it with a little water or additional stock.

This recipe is from CELEBRATIONS ITALIAN STYLE by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company Inc., in 1995.


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