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pasta with fava beans and pancetta
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5 from 19 votes

Pasta with fava beans and pancetta (fave in porchetta). Recipe from Le Marche.

This easy to make fava bean (broad bean) recipe from Central Italy is delicious with pasta or as a side dish.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Central Italy, Italian, Le Marche, Mediterranean
Keyword: authentic Italian pasta recipe, broad beans, fava beans, Italian recipe, mediterranean cuisine, pancetta, spring recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 881kcal
Author: Jacqueline De Bono


  • 400 g pasta (14oz) I used fusilli bucati corti (short hollow fusilli)
  • 2 kgs fresh fava beans in pods (4lbs)
  • 2 garlic cloves or fresh garlic peeled and chopped
  • 200 g pancetta (7oz) or guanciale cut into cubes
  • 1/2 glass white wine
  • 1 bunch wild fennel or dill or 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
  • 30 g Pecorino cheese (1oz) grated
  • salt for pasta and to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper. to taste


Prepare the ingredients

  • Shell the fava beans, peel and chop the garlic and cut the pancetta into small cubes. If using, chop the wild fennel or dill.

Make the sauce

  • Cook the chopped garlic with olive oil in a non-stick pan or skillet. Add the pancetta and simmer for 5 minutes. Then add the white wine. When the alcohol has evaporated, and you no longer smell the wine, add the wild fennel, dill or seeds and the shelled beans.
  • Let everything cook for a few minutes on a low heat, then if necessary add water (3 or 4 tablespoons). The beans are best cooked in the sauce, so, you don’t want to overdo it with water and boil them. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Continue to cook over a low heat, with the pan covered for about 30 minutes.

Cook the pasta

  • In the meantime, put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Add salt once it starts to boil and bring to the boil again. Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the packet, save a cup of the cooking water and drain.

Finish and serve

  • Add some of the saved pasta cooking water to the beans and then put the cooked pasta into the pan with the Pecorino. Mix everything together well and serve with more grated Pecorino as required.


Although this recipe is best with fresh fava beans, those aren’t available all through the year. So, you can also use rehydrated dried beans or canned or frozen fava beans.
The recipes I have found for pasta with fava beans and pancetta used tagliatelle or tagliolini. I used short fusilli bucati. That’s short fusilli with a hole! Of course, you can use your favourite pasta, long or short.