Sicilian MaccuFeatured

Sicilian Maccu

This rich soup is said to have been eaten in almost every Sicilian home since Roman times and may take its name from Macchus, a gluttonous character of Roman comedies. The dish is traditionally served to celebrate the coming of spring, often on the feast of St Joseph, 19th March.

Maccu sets when cool and is also delicious eaten as cold slices or fried in breadcrumbs.

This soup can also be made with our split dried fava beans, to eliminate the need for soaking and for a smoother and creamier texture.


For 4 Person(s)

Sicilian maccu

  • 400 g whole dried fava beans
  • 1 leek (optional)
  • 1 onion (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 sprigs oregano
  • 1 fennel
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • olive oil with chilli flakes
  • salt
  • pepper


Soak the beans overnight. Drain, place in a pan, cover with water or stock and cook until tender – about 20 minutes in a pressure cooker, 60 minutes if boiling.

If you’re using the leek and/or onion, chop and sweat in olive oil while the beans are cooking, then add to the beans.

Chop the fennel (if using leaves) and garlic finely, and remove the oregano leaves from the sprigs.

Add the fennel, oregano and garlic to the beans, and continue to cook for another 20 minutes. Blend thoroughly to break up the beans and other ingredients and give a thick, creamy consistency.

Serve drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and sprinkled with a few chilli flakes.

Recipe notes

Makes: 6