Pasta with Ham and Fava Beans (Pasta alla Gricia)
Pasta with Ham and Fava Beans (Pasta alla Gricia)
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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This pasta dish reminds me of the amazing springtime flavors in the Trastevere area of Rome. As I was told, "Favas and Pecorino are the taste of Rome in the spring."

Use the leftovers from my Flavor Bomb Ham to make this easy and delicious pasta.

Swap option: You can use spring peas instead of fava beans.


    • Extra virgin olive oil, for sautéing
    • 2 cups ham, chopped into matchstick slivers about 1-inch in length
    • 1½ cups white onion, diced (optional)
    • Salt, to taste
    • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
    • 2 cups fava beans
    • 1 pound penne pasta, cooked to just the harder side of al dente, drained, pasta water reserved
    • 2 cups Pecorino Romano cheese, grated, divided
    • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped, for garnish
    • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan with a relatively high rim over medium-high heat. Add in the ham and brown until the edges are slightly crispy and brown.

2. Remove ham from oil. Lower the flame to medium-low.

3. Add onions to oil with a pinch of salt.

4. When onions begin to go translucent, add garlic and stir throughout to evenly combine.

5. Add fava beans and stir thoroughly.

6. Stir in pasta and thoroughly combine ingredients. Add a splash of the pasta water and stir.

7. Add in 1½ cups of the Pecorino Romano and stir in thoroughly.

8. Turn off flame and add ham slivers and mix into the pasta.

9. Plate pasta and garnish with parsley and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

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