Spaghetti con Fagiolini Paesani

As each season changes here in Puglia, I continue to discover wonderful new vegetables that I have never encountered before. From the above photo these may look like normal green beans, but they are in fact quite different. They are much deeper in hue, with a little white cap on one end and are nuttier in flavor. I asked my friend Orsola about these beans, who owns my favorite little alimentari in Grottaglie, Il Gusto Magico. They only grow between here and Bari and their seeds, when dried, look a lot like black eyed peas. I can taste the relation in these fresh beans.

There was another gentleman in the store while I was shopping and they started giving me recipe tips on how to prepare the beans, which are absolutely my favorite moments here in Puglia. They both suggested a recipe with spaghetti and fresh tomatoes. I knew this pasta, though not with this fresh local recipe.

My first semester of graduate school was a 7 week intensive semester at Middlebury in Vermont. The coursework was gruesome, and so was the cafeteria. One of the professors, who was originally from Ferrandina, a neighboring town in Basilicata, became a good friend of mine and a few of my classmates. We would make great dinners in the communal kitchen and I remember him making this pasta several times, with canned beans and canned tomatoes. It tasted great, but with fresh beans and fresh tomatoes it brings it to a whole new dimension.

Spaghetti con Fagiolini Paesani

  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 1 cup of chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1/2 lb green beans, if you can find these special beans, try them, delish
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated cacioricotta or any aged cheese
  • salt to taste

Fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Heat oil in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat and add the whole cloves of garlic. When garlic starts to sizzle add the tomatoes and cook over a medium flame until the tomatoes start to break up, lower the heat and cover.

Once the water starts to boil for the pasta add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the beans and cook for 7 minutes. When 7 minutes have past add the pasta and cook with the beans until the spaghetti is al dente.

When the pasta is perfectly al dente, turn up the heat on the sauce and drain the pasta and the beans. Without shaking all of the water out of the colander pour the pasta and the beans into the pan and toss it with the sauce. This allows for the pasta to cook a little longer in the sauce and to absorb the flavor.

Serve with grated cacioricotta.

One Year Ago: Tagliatelle with Rhubarb & Cranberry Bean Salad with Celery, Basil and Mint

Two Years Ago:  Asparagus Panzanella

Three Years Ago: Couscous Salad with Yellow Zucchini & Farfalle with Zucchini Flowers and Saffron

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~ by italicious on June 25, 2012.

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