Fava Bean Spread / Maccu


In Sicilian dialect the word is maccu. In Ligurian dialect the word is marro, but no matter what the dialect word is, this spreadable paste made from fresh fava beans is delicious. It is best to use young fava beans since they will be much creamier than older and bigger beans. If larger beans are the only kind available, they will need to be cooked first in boiling water before proceeding with the recipe.

Boil until the outer skin of the bean easily slips off, and the beans are soft enough to be mashed between the fingers. Fava beans are also available frozen.


  • 3 pounds fresh fava beans, shelled (about 3 cups shelled if small, or 1 3/4 cups if need to peel outer shell)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino cheese
  • Grinding of black pepper
  • 12 small slices of bread, toasted


  1. In a food processor, grind the fava beans to a pulp with the garlic cloves. Slowly pour enough olive oil through the feed tube with the motor running until a smooth but not too runny paste forms. The fava beans should have the consistency of mashed potatoes.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the cheese. Spread a small amount on the bread slices and drizzle each one with a little extra-virgin olive oil. Extra paste can be stored in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Serve the toasts immediately.
  3. Did you know that fava beans love to grow in cool weather and will germinate in soil as cold as 40 degrees?
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