Green beans with penne in tomato & ham sauce


1 1/2 lbs fresh green beans
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, pressed
1 large can italian tomatoes
1/2 cup dry red wine
1-2 tbsp cognac
2 anchovies, mashed into paste
1 tsp oregano

2 tbsp fresh basil
2-4 oz cooked ham, finely chopped
salt & black pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp tomato paste – kind that comes in a tube
8 oz penne regati
parmesan cheese for serving

How to prepare

Cut the ends off the green beans and rinse them well, but leave them long. Place them in a steamer over boiling water and steam about 10 minutes. Be careful not to overcook; they should still be firm. Turn off the heat and loosen the lid, but keep warm. Pour the tomatoes into a bowl and crush tomatoes by hand. In a large skillet heat the oil until a drop of water sizzles. Add the garlic cook until it begins to become translucent. Add the beans and stir well. Strain the juice from the tomatoes through a sieve into the skillet. Add the red wine, cognac, anchovy paste, oregano, basil, pepper and ham and stir well. Let simmer a few minutes, add salt to taste. Add the tomato paste to thicken. Cook the pasta. Drain well and stir gently into the bean mixture. Serve with parmesan cheese to pass at the table.

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