Simple Green Beans Italian Recipes

Green Beans with Garlic and Anchovies

Garlic and anchovies elevate plain green beans to nothing short of fantastic. The beans can be boiled ahead of time, but do not refrigerate them or they will lose their fresh flavor.

If you prefer to leave out the anchovies, add a tablespoon or two of chopped capers or olives to amp up the flavor.

Serves 6

  • Salt
  • 1 pound thin green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 6 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped (see headnote)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until crisp-tender, about 7 minutes.

Drain in a colander and cool under cold running water; drain well. (The beans can be boiled up to 3 hours ahead, wrapped in a paper towel, and left at room temperature.)

Wipe the saucepan dry. Add the butter and oil and melt the butter over medium heat.

Add the garlic and anchovies and cook, mashing the anchovies with the back of a spoon, for about 2 minutes, until they dissolve. Add the green beans and salt and pepper to taste and cook, tossing well, for about 1 minute.

Add the parsley, toss again, and serve.

Green Beans with Pancetta, Red Onions, and Parsley

Pancetta is made from a pork cut that is the same as bacon. The meat is salted and seasoned with black pepper and garlic.

Then it is rolled up and pressed into a log to be aged and cured.

Sometimes pancetta is smoked like bacon, but usually it is not. Along with red onion, it adds great flavor to green beans.

These beans are great on their own or folded into beaten eggs for a frittata.

Serves 4

  • Salt
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 2 ounces pancetta, cut into thin slivers
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Method

Put a big pot of salted water to a boil.

Add the beans and cook until almost but not quite tender, about 7 minutes.

Drain in a colander and cool under cold running water; drain well.

In a large skillet, cook the pancetta in the olive oil for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Add the onion and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.

Stir in the green beans and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until the beans are tender, about 2 minutes more.

Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.