Serves: Serves 4
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ red or yellow onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ pound plum tomatoes, grated, with juices
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- Hot red pepper flakes
- 1 pound romano beans, ends trimmed and cut into
- 2-inch lengths
- 1½ cups water
- Kosher or sea salt
- ½ pound fingerling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
Procedures:In many Italian American households, the meaty, flat-podded romano (or Roma) beans are the green beans of choice. They can be boiled and served as a cool salad, with sliced red onion and a vinaigrette, or braised with tomatoes and Italian seasonings and served warm. Like many vegetable braises, this one is even better the second day.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over moderately low heat. Add the onion and garlic and sautée until the onion is soft and sweet, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, oregano (crumbling it between your fingers as you add it), and a generous pinch of hot pepper flakes. Raise the heat to moderately high and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes soften and form a sauce.
Add the beans and water and season highly with salt. Bring to a simmer, then cover and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the beans begin to soften, about 20 minutes. Add the potatoes, re-cover, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until both the beans and potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes longer.
Taste and adjust the salt. If time allows, let cool to room temperature, then reheat to serve. The flavor improves when the dish is cooled and reheated.