St. Joseph’s soup

A typical specialty of Favara to celebrate this holiday

Throughout Sicily the devotion to St. Joseph is deeply felt.
The guardian and protector of the family is particularly revered, so as to organize every year  larger and more exciting popular worship events.

In Favara the feast of St. Joseph, in addition to the usual rituals of March 19th, is also celebrated between the end of August and the beginning of September.
So that the numerous emigrant citizens can participate in this appreciated event that has been handed down for generations.

Without a doubt the most popular moment of the festival is the preparation, in every quarter of the city, of the San Giuseppe Minestra or Maccu which symbolically unites the whole population.

We are better acquainted with this custom so deep and rooted in the soul of the people of Favara.

Tradition and devotion

Always, this Sicilian comfort food is cooked with so much dedication, legumes and various types of pasta by people who received a grace and to help the needy.
Saint Joseph, in fact, is also the protector of the poor and he is entrusted with people who find themselves in difficulty.

The faithful, since the first days of March, have undertaken to organize the party by going house-to-house, asking for a donation and thus collecting the sums necessary to cook the “Maccu Di San Giuseppe“.

All the families that intend to fulfill a vow or express a particular devotion to the Saint, set up a table on which is placed the image of St. Joseph and the famous “minestrata” that gathers many friends and neighbors for a moment of tasty sharing.
Until now the cooking is with wood, mixed with large wooden ladles and prepared in the traditional “callaruna“, huge tin pots.

At this point you just have to find out how to cook it!

The Maccu of St. Joseph

This soup based on legumes and vegetables is prepared, according to local customs, with poor ingredients and local raw materials.
It was generally cooked by people who had received a grace from the Saint and offered it to the poor as a sign of charity and benevolence.


  • 200 g of dried beans
  • 200 g of lentils
  • 500 g of mixed local vegetables (broccoli, sparacello, beets)
  • a coast of celery
  • two carrots
  • an onion
  • a bunch of fennel
  • 300 g of short pasta (thimbles or broken bucatini)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. Soak the borlotti the night before.
  2. The next day, place chopped onions, carrots and chopped celery in a large pot.
  3. Add the vegetables, cover with water and cook over low heat.
  4. Wash the vegetables and cut them into pieces.
  5. When the vegetables are cooked, add the vegetables, salt, pepper and cook a little more.
  6. As soon as the vegetables have softened, add the pasta and wait for the cooking time.
  7. Serve the hot San Giuseppe soup with a drizzle of olive oil.


I prefer to cook the vegetables on a low heat, without stirring, with a lid.
The ideal is to prepare the soup in the morning and let it rest in the pot, so as to be able to take the necessary quantity from time to time and put it back on the fire.
According to tradition, pasta is added but it is also excellent served simply with San Giuseppe bread.

The devotion to the Saint, common solidarity and the desire to be together are enclosed in the Maccu of Saint Joseph.
A totally vegetarian, seasonal and km0 dish that will amaze you, transmitting those long-forgotten emotions of the past!

Does this recipe seem particularly complicated to you?
No problem!
On March 19th, come to Favara and come and enjoy it with us.
The whole population will welcome you with open arms!

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