Greens beans have a bad rep, especially when it comes to kids. This is most likely due to the fact that they are often prepared the wrong way- boiled and served bland. This traditional Italian recipe proves that with a few fresh flavours, bland green beans can be transformed into the ultimate side dish- one that even kids will love. Greens beans in spicy tomato sauce is a classic Italian side dish, delicious with roasted or grilled meats, or as an accompaniment to any meal.
I love to eat green beans in the summer when they are picked fresh from the garden, and cooked until tender and crisp. Every time I make these green beans, I get flashbacks of my nonna, sitting in her armchair on the porch, in her flowered apron with a big bowl full of freshly picked beans from her garden on her lap. One by one she would remove the stems of the beans and then transfer them to another bowl, all the while watching her grandchildren play in the yard. She prepared green beans in so many different ways; green bean and potato salad, sautéed with garlic until crispy, and these green beans in spicy tomato sauce. My nonna also liked to use a lot of garlic in her cooking. I prefer a more subtle garlic flavour, so instead of adding heaps of chopped garlic, I halve a few cloves, cook them in the sauce to add that distinct garlic flavour, then remove them before serving.
Sometimes, I like a change of pace (even if I can’t handle it) and I add a bit more spice than usual in my recipes. The addition of hot red pepper flakes brings a ton of flavour to this dish. If you can’t take the heat, then simply omit them! With only 5 ingredients you can prepare this delicious side dish however, you can add even more flavour by sautéing some onions, and adding some cubed pancetta for a non-vegan version. As I said, this classic Italian side dish is wonderful with grilled or roasted meats, but I think it’s tasty and filling enough to serve as a light main course-of course with some crusty Italian bread for dipping! Scarpetta, anyone?
If you try this recipe (and love it!) be sure to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram with #bitesforfoodies so I can see your creation!