Romano Beans With Pancetta & Tomatoes

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Green beans are always a great vegetable side dish since most people are familiar with them and I do not think I’ve ever met a person who didn’t care for green beans despite the fact that they may think of beans as a boring vegetable. Properly cooked and seasoned however, green beans can be a wonderful addition to any menu and anyone can turn ordinary green beans into an extraordinary vegetable side dish.

My favorite variety of green beans are these meaty Romano beans that grow really well in our garden. They are full of flavor and can be seasoned with a variety of herbs, or combined with other vegetables. On my frequent market visits, I often buy a bag of these beans and then use whatever ingredients I have in my refrigerator to flavor them. For this recipe, I had some cherry tomatoes that were getting too ripe for salads and some diced pancetta I needed to use up and ended up with a great tasting bean side dish I served to guests with a lovely roast of pork.

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Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2013

Romano Beans With Pancetta & Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pound Romano Beans, Stem End Trimmed & Cut In Half
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Ounces (About 1/3 Cup) Diced Pancetta
  • 1/4 Cup Diced Onion
  • 2 Large Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Thinly Sliced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes, Cut In Half
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley Leaves
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • Pinch Red Hot Pepper Flakes

Directions:

  1. Cook the beans until tender crisp in boiling, salted water, then drain, and immediately plunge the beans into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Drain, and set aside.
  3. In a frying pan, heat up the oil over medium heat, and then cook the pancetta until golden brown, stirring often, about 6 to 7 minutes.
  4. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic, and cook another 2 minutes.
  6. Add the cherry tomatoes, parsley, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes just start to break down.
  7. Add the beans, stir well to coat the beans in the pancetta and tomato mixture, and cook just until the beans have reheated, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.