It’s fucking hot right now.
Every time I walk outside it’s like the heat has strapped me down and the stifling humidity waterboards me until I confess that you know what? I don’t really need (insert life essential item here) this weekend…I hail my forever, undying allegiance to the A/C just please take me back to my
Enhanced interrogation metaphors aside, this weather can’t help but remind of one of my favorite late summer vegetable preps, al umido. I first made this dish in Rome with fagiolini corallo (aka romano beans) and was immediately enamored with the preparation because it was not only simple and delicious, but also insanely practical because you don’t have to stand near the hot stove the whole time you’re cooking it. It allows you to stand near other things too…like your air conditioner.
You literally just let it cook and cook and cook…and cook some more. Basically once the beans reach a certain level while cooking, it’s like the process of undercooked to cooked to overcooked restarts. It’s like the beans enters a vortex that sucks it into an alternate universe where the vegetable takes on a whole new dimension of cookedness previously never seen before. That’s how I would describe the universe in umido. Not a bad place to
eat be right now.
Romano Beans in Umido
- 3T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1 small white onion, thinly sliced
- 1.5# romano beans, trimmed and cut into halves or thirds (depending on size)
- 2 large tomatoes, skins removed and cut into a large dice
- 1T tomato paste
- 2T mint, chopped
- pinch of chili flake
- kosher salt
- Blanch romano beans in salted, boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and shock in ice water.
- In a large saute pan, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute. Add the romano beans, chili flake and a large pinch of kosher salt.
- Cover the pan and let cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, another large pinch of kosher salt and combine with the rest of the ingredients. Cover and cook for another 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every so often just to prevent sticking.
- Take the pan off the heat and stir in the mint. Taste to adjust seasoning if necessary and serve.