Macco Di Fave


1 lb. dried fava beans
3 oz. wild fennel
2 oz. pancetta
2 prawns, shelled
1 cup ricotta
4 tbs. olive oil

How to make the Maccu – Fava Beans Puree:

Soak fava beans for 32 hours, then drain. Cover the wild fennel with water, add salt and cook slowly over a very low flame till you get a puree. Pour the mash into a food processor, add the ricotta and olive oil, and blend for a few seconds till you get the smooth consistency of a veloute. Dice the pancetta into small cubes and saute quickly in a pan till crisp. Put the fava and ricotta mix back onto the fire.

Simmer without bringing to a boil. Saute the shelled prawns in hot oil for no more than 10 secs. Serve macco into dishes, covering each portion with rings of pancetta cubes and topping it with a prawn. Add pepper to taste.

This is the modern version of one of the oldest Sicilian soups. The original recipe, with fava bean puree and olive oil only, dates as far back as ancient Egypt, to pre-Pharaonic times.