For many centuries, it has been traditional on Malta to serve kusksu at Easter, the season when fava beans and peas are green and tender. The name of this soup sounds like “couscous” and although the recipe is very different from the famous North African dish, the word may be derived from the presence of the small, seed-like pieces of pasta, which are similar to coarse couscous grains.
The pasta used in this traditional soup is called pasta ta’l kusksu in Maltese. It consists of very small, multifaceted balls. A variety of similar types of pasta can be found in Italy including acini di pepe (pepper seeds).
250 gr fresh fava/broad beans (i used canned)
100 gr fresh peas
2 medium onions
3 garlic cloves
60 ml corn oil
55 gr butter
100 gr tomato paste
1 bay leaf
2 bouillon cubes
250 gr kusksu pasta
Heat the oil and butter in a large pan. Brown the chopped onions and garlic.
Add the tomato paste to the pan, cook for 2-3 minutes stirring all the time.
Add the bay leaf, the bouillon cubes and 1.5 L water. Bring it to boil
When the bouillon has come to a boil, add the beans and peas. Simmer for few minutes
Add the pasta. Cook for 20 minutes until it is soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
When ready to serve add grated parmesan or ricotta and mix well.