Vegetable macaroni – Sicily-style

carlucciomacaroniEtchCARLUCCIO’S macaroni with asparagus, pea and broad bean frittedda is a delicious vegetable pasta stew that comes from Sicily, and is perfect for spring.

Frittedda is a speciality of Palermo, the capital of Sicily, where in spring this young vegetable stew is eaten with panelle (chickpea flour fritters). I also like it with pasta, and often add sliced artichoke hearts.

This recipe is dedicated to Sicily, the first region in Italy to “import” pasta – probably maccaruni – from the Arabs.


350g dried macaroni

50g Parmesan, freshly grated

for the sauce

60ml extra-virgin olive oil

2 onions, peeled and finely sliced

150g podded and peeled young broad beans (peeled weight)

150g sweet young garden peas

(podded weight)

300g asparagus tips

2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley


Heat most of the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onions and fry gently until soft (6-8 minutes).

Add the raw broad beans, peas and lastly the asparagus tips. Add 100ml of water and braise until the vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water for six to seven minutes or until al dente. Drain well and mix with the sauce. Add the parsley and divide between four warmed plates.

Sprinkle over the Parmesan and lastly pour on a stream of the remaining olive oil. Serve hot.

This sauce is also good with egg tagliatelle or trenette.

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