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Fava bean porridge (Puls Fabata)

Pliny: Natural History 18.117

Puls Fabata

A one-pot meal of hulled emmer wheat, fava beans, salted pork, and onions sauteed in olive oil. Could be cooked in caupona and served in castra/village or even cooked by individuals.

Original recipe:



  • ½ lb emmer wheat berries soaked for 1 to 4 hours
  • ¼ lb dried peeled fava beans soaked for 1 to 8 hours
  • 1 oz. salt cured pork or ham, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • olive oil
  • water
  • red wine vinegar
  • salt


  • Heat some olive oil in a patera or casserole and add the pork and onions.
  • Sautee until the onions are golden and add the drained wheat berries, stiring often.
  • After a short time add the drained fava beans and stir.
  • Simmer the puls until the wheat and fava beans are soft and chewable consistency according to preference, adding water as necessary to prevent mixture from drying out or burning.
  • Season with vinegar and salt, and drizzle with olive oil before serving.
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