Fava beans are a herald of spring in Italy, and put them on pasta and soups; Romans like them in fave al guanciale, sautéed with onions and pork cheek.
Four varieties of fava beans are included in the Slow Food Presidium:
Fava cottòra dell'Amerino: famous easy to cook and digest broad bean from the hills of Amelia in Umbria.
Fava di Carpino: grown in the Gargano in Puglia.
Fava Larga di Leonforte: an exceptionally big broad bean from Sicily, first grown in Neolithic times, left as food for the dead in the pyramids of Egypt. Traditionally they would be alternated with wheat by farmers. They are usually sold dried, and have more protein than any other bean with the exception of soy.
Fava Fratte Rosa: tender round beans from Fratte Rosa near Pesaro, used to make fave in porchetta, with wild fennel and pancetta and tacconi.
Other dishes include
Favata is a Sardinian broad bean and pork minestrone, thickened with bread and flavoured with wild fennel, cardoons (cardi), garlic and mint.
Li Caciù co’ la Fava: a rich egg pasta cut in sheets, filled with a paste of broad beans, then deep fried. A traditional dessert from Massa Fermana in Le Marche, but now mostly served as an antipasta
Image by Robin