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Pasta alla gricia with fava beans

Pasta alla gricia is one of the most traditional recipes in Roman cuisine. It is the basis for carbonara (adding eggs), amatriciana (adding tomato sauce) or for this incredible pasta alla gricia with fava beans. I am sure it will become one of your favorites! Enjoy :)
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Primo
Cuisine: Italian, Roman
Keyword: fava bean, gricia, guanciale, tasty
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 550kcal
Author: Roberto
Cost: $2


  • a pan
  • a pot
  • a mixer


  • 400 gr pasta I chose spaghetti, but also rigatoni or other shapes will work. I don't recommend fresh pasta (e.g. tagliatelle) for this sauce.
  • 1 half onion
  • 400 gr fava beans weight is for the clean beans
  • 100 gr pecorino cheese
  • 100 gr guanciale
  • q.s. salt
  • q.s. black pepper (optional)


  • Prepare your ingredients. Fresh fava beans are recommended, but you can prepare this dish also with frozen ones.
    Pasta alla gricia with fava beans - ingredients
  • Slice the guanciale and gently fry it in a pan. This will make it transparent as it loses the grease.
    Pasta alla gricia with fava beans - guanciale
  • Peel the fava beans, removing the skin that would give a bitter flavor to the dish. It is not the funniest task, that's why we get married ;)
  • Drop half of the fava beans into salted, boiling water. 5 minutes will be enough. Important: don't waste the water, since you will use it to cook the pasta.
  • Slice the onion and add it to the guanciale. There is a huge debate on this in Italy, but I love using it. You can comment on that :)
    Pasta alla gricia with fava beans - onion
  • Drain the fava beans from the water and put them into the mixer bowl. Add 50 gr of pecorino cheese and black pepper (according to taste). Note: roman traditional food loves black pepper! Mix the ingredients until you get a delicious cream.
    Pasta alla gricia with fava beans - smashed fava beans
  • In the pan where the guanciale and the onion are gently frying, add the remaining half of fava beans, and a ladleful of the cooking water. This will cook on low heat, covered with a lid, until the water is absorbed.
    Pasta alla gricia with fava beans - add the fava beans
  • Time to cook the pasta, in my case the spaghetti, in the water used to boil the fava beans. This will give additional flavor to the final result. One minute before the suggested cooking time, drain the pasta. Always remember to save one glass of cooking water. Drop the pasta into the pan and gently mix.
    Pasta alla gricia with fava beans - pasta in the pan
  • Over medium to high heat, add a ladleful of the cooking water and all the fava beans and pecorino cream. Gently mix until the water is absorbed and the pasta is perfectly cooked. Time to serve and...
    Pasta alla gricia with fava beans - adding the fava beans cream
  • enjoy your first Pasta alla gricia with fava beans, like you were in Rome! :) Buon appetito
    Pasta alla gricia with fava beans - enjoy!