Fave e pecorino is not really a “dish” at all, you just set out the fava beans, in their pods, and a hunk of pecorino cheese. Each diner opens the pods for themselves and eats the raw fava beans they find inside with a bit of pecorino, washed down with a well-chilled dry white wine. Odd as it may sound, it is a combination that was just meant to be.
Romans traditionally eat fave e pecorino on May 1, preferably while they picnic fuori porta, or literally ‘outside the gate’ meaning outside town. Romans will pick up and find any green spot (even city parks if they can’t get out of the town) to set out their picnic lunch. When we were living in downtown Rome close to the Campo dei fiori, we’d often go up the Gianicolo, a high hill just across the river,for our May Day picnics. When we moved to a country setting on the outskirts of town, we could just sit outside on the terrace; and we would often come across strangers picnicking down the hill from our house!
If you want to get fancy, you can de-pod and shell the fava beans, cube the cheese and combine the two with a bit of oil, salt and pepper to make a salad. That is how I had this once in a tony restaurant in Florence. But personally I like the rustic informality of eating the raw ingredients.