Now is the time to look for romano beans at farmers markets. They have flat, edible pods with tiny, immature beans inside. Cooked slowly in tomato sauce, the beans become tender, with an appealing earthy flavor and meaty texture.
Serve as a side dish to roast chicken, grilled lamb chops or a frittata.
To drink: Depending on your main dish, romano beans go well with a medium-bodied red, such as Chianti Classico.
Servings: 6 - 8
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 pound romano beans (stem ends trimmed), cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 small small red chili pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced (may substitute a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes)
- 28 ounces canned, diced, no-salt-added tomatoes, with their juices
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sweet Spanish smoked paprika (pimenton; optional)
Combine the oil, garlic and onion in a deep-sided saute pan over medium heat. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the onion has softened a bit. Stir in the beans and chili pepper; cook for 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and their juices. Season with the salt and paprika, if using. Once the mixture starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 25 minutes, or until the beans are tender but not mushy.
Uncover; increase the heat to medium-high and cook for 5 minutes, or until the liquid has thickened into a sauce. Transfer the beans and sauce to a serving bowl; discard the garlic, if desired. Serve immediately.
From cookbook author Domenica Marchetti.
Tested by Domenica Marchetti.
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