It really doesn’t get more simple than this.  In Liguria, a dish similar to this would of course be made with Pesto and green beans so in essence, this is what we’ve got here minus the pesto.  That’s what makes this different.  Less ingredients. Much less time.  But don’t be fooled, this is incredibly tasty.

Inspired by my friend Rolando, who posted this recipe on his blog Cooking with Books; he tells the tale that origin of the dish rested with his Sicilian grandmother.  Simplicity. Flavor. Cucina Povera.  I made this dish on a whim and because I didn’t have spaghetti, I used linguine but really you can use any long pasta.

Pasta with Green Beans

1 pound spaghetti or linguine
1/2 medium sweet Vidalia onion sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1/2 bag french cut frozen string beans
Grated Pecorino Romano
Salt & Pepper to taste

~ Here are the onions and green beans “Sweating” while the pasta cooks ~

Start by sweating the onion and garlic in about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil until they start to soften but do not brown.  Add the frozen string beans and stir through.  Lower the heat to medium low and gently allow the beans to thaw as they warm through.  This shouldn’t take any longer than 5-10 minutes and what little water they let out will help comprise the sauce for the pasta.  Season with salt and pepper and add some hot chile flakes if you like.

As the pasta is cooking, skim off about 1/2 cup pasta cooking water and add to the beans. Stir through.  You’ll see the starchy water sort of creating a thicker sauce.  Reserve another 3/4 cup water before draining the pasta directly to the pan with the beans.  Toss.  Add a generous amount of Pecorino Romano cheese – about 8-10 tablespoons and stir through adding as much of the pasta water as you need until it forms a clingy sauce.  That is it!

~ This packs flavor that the pictures do not convey. The beans are firm and sweet, the cheese is salty and the chile flakes add a slight kick of heat. I cannot stress enough to use the French Cut beans. They stick to the pasta perfectly in this recipe. ~

We served/tasted a few lovely, crisp Vermentino with this dish that will be the subject of a coming article.  Give this a try.  You won’t be disappointed.


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