Tuesday, August 24

Runner beans with tomato sauce.

I wouldn't normally reproduce a recipe that I haven't at least fiddled with, but this one from the Able and Cole cookbook is so simple and so delicious that I shall make an exception. The brilliant thing is that just about everything in it is in season right now, so you can either use up your tomato and bean glut on it, or it'll be super cheap to buy the veg.

Serves two, mixed in with pasta. Good as a side too, apparently.

A handful of runner beans, cut into inch long strips
4 largeish tomatoes
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
a large clove garlic
a small chilli (optional)
slosh of wine (I used vermouth, I drink the wine)
1 tsp sugar
1tsp cider or wine vinegar
small handful of basil
salt and pepper

Deseed the tomatoes by making a small slit in the skin and squishing them over the compost caddy or bin or whatever. Chop them roughly. Steam the beans for 3 mins then run them under cold water to stop them cooking further. Next time I'll probably bung them in with the past for the last 3 mins and skip that step. Glug the oil into a pan and heat, then fry the garlic and fennel seeds. Do not allow the garlic to go brown, it tastes nasty. Add the tomatoes and chilli if using, along with a slug of wine/vermouth. Simmer for 20 minutes. The Able and Cole recipe says covered but my tomatoes were very wet and my wine slosh very generous, so I took the lid off so it'd reduce a bit. Once it's nice and saucey-looking add a tsp of vinegar and a tsp of sugar (these are magic ingredients which make tomato sauce taste fabulous), stir in the beans and cook until they are warmed through. Stir in some chopped basil and add another glug of olive oil if you are not dieting. Season to taste.

I stirred ours through pasta twirls and we had a bit of parmesan on top. It was bloody lovely.

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