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  • Isabella Akshay

Sicilian "Macco" (Cream of Fava Beans) with Butter-Sautéed Spring Greens

Updated: Apr 7

Fava beans or broad beans are a very ancient and precious legume that has been part of our food culture for centuries.


During spring and summer, fresh green fava pods are sold at street markets and used to make delicious pastas like this with green fava and ricotta, or traditional pies like "scacce ragusane" or "scacciate".


In autumn and winter instead, we use the dried variety - with and without the skin.


"Macco" or "Maccu" is a very traditional Sicilian recipe, a great example of “Cucina Povera” or Italian peasant cooking. This dish is such a comforting, velvety, rustic soup with roots going all the way back to Ancient Rome and Greece.


You may enjoy these other fava bean recipes:

In this version, the traditional cream of fava is topped with healthy spring greens, lightly blanched and then sautéed in butter, garlic and red chillies - a great combo and such a nourishing dish.





Ingredients (for 2)


For the cream of fava:

  • 2 tbsp evo oil

  • 1 large banana shallot, or brown onion

  • 1 small carrot

  • 1 small celery stick

  • 1 tbsp tomato concentrate

  • 1 cup of dried, de-skinned fava beans

  • 1 tsp wild fennel seeds (or regular fennel seeds)

  • 1 tsp caraway seeds

  • Vegetable stock

  • A handful of fennel leaves (you can replace with dill)

  • Salt to taste

For the sautéed spring greens:

  • 2 tbsp evo oil

  • 1 knob butter

  • 200g spring greens (or you can replace with any greens like spinach, turnip tops, mustard greens, kale)

  • 2 cloves garlic minced finely

  • 2 fresh red chillies minced (or 1 tsp chilli flakes

  • Salt to taste

Method


Finely dice the shallot, carrot, celery and add them to the oil. Sauté until softened, then add salt, fennel and caraway seeds, tomato concentrate, and the fava beans and cook for a couple of minutes.


Add enough stock to cover by 2 fingers, cover and pressure cook for 20 minutes, or cook on a regular stove for about 40 minutes. Cook until the beans have a mushy consistency but the soup is still quite watery.


Using an immersion blender, blend the beans to creamy.


In the meantime, blanch the greens in boiling water and then cool down in a bowl filled with ice cubes.


Heat the oil and butter in a pan, add the minced garlic, chilli and let them brown. Add the spring greens and sauté for a couple of minutes. Serve on top of the fava bean with an additional drizzle of olive oil.







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