Italian-style Green Beans
I love fresh green beans – only if they are way over cooked according to the FOOD Network experts… Sure, the bright green color is beautiful. But the waxy, squeaky texture awakens my gag-reflex…and of course, I try my very best to avoid that.
Talking about gag-reflex on a food blog seems like a ‘No-No’ but since I have already opened the can of worms, I have to share a story that I am reminded of every time I think of that certain reflex. ((I have to say, my mom told me I should delete this story…))
It was a dark and stormy night… just kidding! It was lunchtime, I was 7 – in the second grade at Red Oak Elementary. I was sitting next to Jean and across from Holley. I had purchased hot lunch that day, I LOVED school lunches. The cafeteria ladies made everything at our school and I am certain a microwave was not in the picture. It was hamburger stew day, with a side of canned peaches and white cake for dessert. The lunch monitor was making her rounds…She felt her number one mission was to make sure every kid ate ALL of their food BEFORE they started on their cake (seemed to me like she really enjoyed telling kids what to do).
I hate canned peaches, I have always hated canned peaches and I will ALWAYS HATE canned peaches. They make me gag. So naturally, I passed over my canned peaches and started on my tasty cake. By doing this, I must have triggered a silent alarm, because she made a bee-line over to me and insisted I eat ALL of my canned peaches. I told her they make me throw up, but she would not listen. She threatened loss of playground privileges. That was a death-blow! I opened my mouth, shoved one peach in and started to try to chew and swallow…and promptly threw up all of my lunch all over my tray. She stared at me. I dumped my tray and went out to the playground. THE END.
So back to my green beans, I love them over-cooked. If you like them crisp, waxy & squeaky — then by all means, knock 18-20 minutes off of the cooking time.
This recipe only uses a handful of simple ingredients – fresh green beans, canned crushed tomatoes with basil, 1/2 of a medium onion, a bit of good red wine and S & P. Really — it’s all things you should have in a well stocked pantry (but I am not trying to tell you what to do!). That’s it, but wow!! what big, bold flavors. This side will quickly become a menu staple for you, I am sure.
My kids love it too, (I think it has a lot to do with the fact that they are “way over-cooked”). They call it spaghetti sauce with green bean noodles…and slurp them up as if they were sucking spaghetti noodles into their mouth. It’s another recipe success…getting young kids not only to eat their veggies, but to enjoy them! (without threatening a loss of playground privileges–but I am not bitter.)
- 2 t olive oil
- 1 lb fresh green beans, rinsed and prepared (I used haricot vert because they are skinny and more tender)
- 1, 28 oz can crushed tomatoes with basil
- 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 8 oz red wine
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- Over medium heat, in a medium braiser, add olive oil. Next add green beans onions, tomatoes and red wine. Cover and simmer for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn heat down to low half-way through cooking time. Season with S & P to taste.
- Remove from heat and serve.