Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Rigatoni with Broad Bean, Guanciale, Pecorino

Broad bean, Guanciale and Pecorino are ingredients typical of the cuisine of Lazio. This is one of the rich and tasty dish that came from the region where Rome is located.

Serves: 4 | Preparation time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 25 – 30 mins

  • Rigatoni or any short pasta: 350 g
  • Broad beans, fresh of frozen: 200 g
  • Guanciale – cured pork jowl: 100 g
  • Pecorino cheese, grated: 80 g
  • Mint, fresh: 4 leaves
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO): to taste
  • Salt and pepper: to taste


If you are going to use frozen broad beans just make sure to take them out of the freezer a few hour before cooking.

Clean broad beans by removing the pods and the petiol. Boil water in a pot, salt to taste, blanch the beans for about 15 minutes, drain them with a skimmer and set aside. Do not throw away the cooking water as it will be used to cook pasta afterwards.

Chop finely mint leaves, set aside. Dice the Guanciale, pan-fry it until crispy without oil or any other fat.

Tip: Do not add any fat to the pan where you’re frying Guanciale. That means no oil, no butter and no margarine since Guanciale is fatty enough and it will release its fat.

Add boiled broad beans to the pan with Guanciale, let them flavour, add mint leaves, sauteeing for about 5 mins.

Reuse the cooking water of broad beans, bring it to boil, cook pasta and drain it al dente, add it to the pan with broad beans and guanciale, cook again for a further 5 mins.

Serve warm topped with a generous handful of grated Pecorino cheese and some freshly ground black pepper.

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