This is a signature dish of the late great Mario, the multitalented father of Tina who used to be one of our amazing instructors at our cooking classes in Italy. You may say that you like your green beans to be firm and crunchy, but after tasting this dish you may also appreciate their sweet, melt-in-the-mouth quality when slow cooked.
- 500g /1 lb fresh green beans, topped and tailed
- 20 large, ripe cherry tomatoes, cut in half (or a small can of good tomatoes)
- 2 carrots
- 2 onions
- 2 large sticks of celery
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 8 leaves fresh basil
- Coarse salt
- Chop the carrots, onion and celery very finely and put in a heavy-based frying pan in the cold oil.
- Cook for about 5 minutes and add the green beans.
- Add the tomatoes. Season generously with coarse salt and cover.
- Cook covered for about 30 minutes on a medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- When the pan is half full with vegetable juices, uncover and cook down on a low heat, until most if the liquid has evaporated (around 15 minutes).
- Turn off the heat and add the basil leaves, torn into pieces.
The secret to this recipe is to overcook the beans to the point of caramelizing them.