Green Bean Pasta

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green bean pastaGreen bean pasta, when made properly, is an Italian soul food dish that compliments just about any meat entree you can possibly imagine; Baked fish, roasted or fried chicken, grilled steak, pork, hamburgers and whatever else you like might like as a main course. The beauty of green bean pasta is the quickness, simplicity and soulful life it adds to your meal. Because the pasta and green beans count as both a vegetable and a starch, you literally do not need anything else besides a meat entree to make a complete meal. Like any other side dish, there are at least a million or so, green bean pasta recipes. The one I use is not only quick and simple to make, but will add fire, excitement and enthusiasm to your entire meal. Here’s the way it is done:

My Green Bean Pasta Recipe

To me, just about any great side dish begins with some garlic and green bean pasta is no different. In a 10-12 Inch skillet, heat up a good amount of olive oil on medium heat. In a separate, large pot, get your water boiling for the pasta. Slice up about 3 to 4 large cloves of garlic. Don’t worry about mincing up the garlic. I like the garlic to be visible on the plate and because it will be golden-brown, it won’t have an overpowering flavor. Just about anyone will love properly browned garlic. Once the oil is hot. throw in the garlic cloves. The secret is to add the green beans to the pasta just as the garlic begins to brown. A good brand of frozen green beans are perfect (see the suggestions below) for this dish because they will immediately take down the temperature and keep the garlic from burning. Dump in 2-3 cups of green beans to the hot oil and immediately begin shaking a jar of black pepper over them – and I do mean go crazy with that pepper shaker. Get the green beans so coated with pepper that they look black.  In a good Italian green bean pasta dish, the green beans will taste similar to sweet, hot green peppers. Once you’ve peppered the heck out of the greens, add about 1/3rd stick of butter to the skillet; one cup of chicken broth and a half cup of white wine then turn down the heat and cover. Check your water.

Best Pasta for Green Beans

Add a good quality pasta brand like De Cecco to the boiling water. The spaghetti I used in the picture is thicker, but for green beans I prefer the Capellini.  De Cecco is more money than most brands, but it is well worth it. De Cecco is very affordable on Amazon if you buy it in 5-10 packs and you can get the much preferred Capellini online at very affordable prices. To me, De Cecco cooks firmer, springier and livelier than an of the other pasta brands I’ve tried. De Cecco comes in dozens of varieties, so experiment with different kinds if you want, but I prefer the longer, narrower kind; Spaghetti, Capellini or Spaghettini works best for this dish.

Best Green Beans for Pasta

Obviously, fresh, quality green beans from your own garden are best, but you can’t always get those year-round. Avoid green beans from the can because they are already too soft and just don’t taste as good. A good, long, fresh-frozen green bean will work nicely. I simply used a bag of natural, frozen, un-cut green beans from our local, King Soopers (Kroger) Grocery store. The extra-fine, frozen string beans below, would work great.

Finishing Touches on Italian Soul Food

As soon as the pasta has become al dente, remove it from the stove and strain it. Add some more olive oil to pasta and salt to taste: Hint: I use anchovy paste instead of salt – it it much more flavor and adds that Italian flair to the dish. I use Anchovy paste in just about everything, including salad dressings. Why not buy a five pack (see deals below)?

Once the pasta has been mixed in with additional olive oil and the anchovy paste, add it to your skillet, gently mix it in and serve. The last ingredient can be added to your plate: Roman Cheese.  While your typical can of Kraft Parmesan or Roman is okay, I’d recommend the real thing show below:

So, what is good to drink with Italian Green Bean Pasta soul food? If you’re serving with fish or chicken try Pinot Grigio. This is one of my favorites: Of course you can drink just about anything you want with Green Bean Pasta when it’s properly made as an Italian Soul Food Dish.

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