Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Mashed fava beans
( Purea di fave )

Traditional Italian recipe from Apulia

Mashed fava beans is a typical recipe from Apulia. Once it was made by peasantry but nowadays it is a dish prepared all over Italy. It's simple to do, very tasty and typical spring recipe for its main ingredient is fresh fava beans available in spring. But you can also make it with frozen fava beans all year. Locals serve mashed fava beans accompanied by boiled field greens. You can also use bitter chicory. In fact the goodness of this dish lies in combining the fava bean taste with the bitter of greens. For this pulse recipe you will need: fresh fava beans, potatoes, extra virgin olive oil and salt. Few, poor ingredients for a tasty dish! Here's the step-by-step recipe!

difficulty: easy

time: preparation: 30 minutes
cooking: 70 minutes
total time: 1 hour 40 minutes

calories: 676 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 4

  • 400g (14 ounces) fresh fava beans, shelled
  • 400g (14 ounces) potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 250ml (8 1/2 fluid ounces) extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
easy recipe
preparation: 30 minutes
cooking: 70 minutes
total time: 1 hour 40 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 676 (kcal) 34 % - 2827 (kJ)
Protein: 7.2 (g) 15 % GDA
Total fat: 63.8 (g) 92 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 19.6 (g) 8 % GDA
Sugars: 2.6 (g) 3 % GDA

Download free PDF version (181 download).

Mashed fava bean recipe

Preparation and cooking

  • - Cook fava beans.
    Put fava beans in a pan (preferably an earthenware pot) together with potatoes.
    Cover with cold water and bring to a boil on low heat.
    Do not add any salt!
    Let all ingredients simmer, half-covered, about 20 minutes.
    Turn off the stove and remove water with a ladle.
    Cover with cold water again.
    Season to taste with salt and bring to a boil.
    Let all ingredients simmer, half-covered, until tender, about 30 minutes.
    Avoid stirring and remember to simmer on very low heat.
    I repeat: you have the best result not stirring your fava beans.
  • - The last step.
    Put fava beans and potatoes through a vegetable mill.
    Transfer puréed fava beans into the pan and begin adding olive oil a little at a time, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon.
    Continue stirring and adding olive oil until you have a smooth and soft purée.

Just before serving

  • - Your mashed fava bean dish is ready!
  • - Serve it hot or warm.



  • - You have to buy about 1.6kg (3.5 pounds) fava beans in their pod to have the right amount for this recipe.

Menu planning

  • - People in Apulia serve mashed fava beans as side dish or one-plate meal.
  • - Prefer the second solution and combine it with boiled field greens ar bitter anchovy. Dress greens with olive oil and hot chilli pepper powder if you like. Accompany this dish with bread slices, toasted or not, but remember there is already potatoes as ingredient. Therefore, the portion must be less than usual, that is, less than 50 grams (1 3/4 ounces)
  • - Carlo and I like to brown boiled greens in a pan together with a bit of olive oil and chopped onion. It isn't the authentic recipe but it's very tasty!
  • - Some people are used to garnish this dish with little pieces of seasoned pecorino. I suggest to put them in a little bowl. People will be able to serve themselves according to their own taste.

Useful links for this recipe

Healthy eating

  • - The amount of olive oil in this traditional recipe is very high. Generally I use only the quantity to have a soft purée according to my taste. Note that the recommended amount of olive oil is 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon a day per head.
  • - Prefer to serve mashed fresh fava beans as one-plate meal. In fact fava beans are rich in protein and so it's wrong to combine this pulse recipe with meat or fish that are another source of protein.
  • - Fiber per serving: 6.5 grams.


What's the right wine for " Mashed fava beans "?

My suggestion for this fantastic pulse recipe is to accompany it with a velvety rosé wine such as Nardò Rosato, a typical wine from Apulia.