Green Beans Bolognese

July 29, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Posted in Vegetables | 14 Comments
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Swimming in fresh green beans? Already out of new ideas on how to prepare them? Hopefully this will be a new-ish take on a green bean side dish for your repertoire.

Remember my recent post about that fabulous specialty store in my neighborhood, Tony’s? Well not only do they have the best shopping experience around, they also have a wonderful website chock full of meal ideas and recipes. I am a Culinary Club member so receive weekly updates about sales and meal planning via email. Love this service. This green been recipe came over the wires last week, gave it a try and loved it. 

What’s so special about this recipe? The addition of the meat goes without saying, I’ve been adding bacon to beans forever. But with the addition of the broth and uncovering of the pot and boiling off the liquid to concentrate the flavors, gives you a nice carmelized coating on the beans, not to mention that special hint of clove flavor for a very tasty end result.

I usually think of Bolognese as a meat based tomato sauce for pasta.  However, Wikipedia tells us: Bolognese sauce (ragù alla bolognese in Italian, also known by its French name sauce bolognaise) is a meat-based sauce for pasta originating in Bologna, Italy. Bolognese sauce is sometimes taken to be a tomato sauce, but authentic recipes have only a small amount of tomato concentrate. 

I think the next time I make this I’ll add a chopped ripe tomato from the garden at the end…why not, I’ve been known to do wilder things than that.

Thanks to Lynne Rossetto Kasper for her take on turning Green Beans into a Bolognese and to Chef Mick from Tony’s for bringing us this recipe.  Which by the way, if you’re not familiar with Lynne Rossetto Kasper you’re missing out.  She has a show on Public Radio, The Splendid Table and some cookbooks that are wonderful.  Vickie in Montana sent me “How To Eat Supper” as a gift and it’s a wonderful cookbook. 

Green Beans Bolognese:

2-3 TBS olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 pound green beans, halved crosswise
2 oz. Italian mortadella, thin fingers (I used cubed applewood smoked ham that I needed to use up)
1 cup chicken stock
pinch of ground cloves
salt and pepper

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add oil. Add the onion and saute over medium high heat 4 minutes, or until wilted. Then add the beans and cook over high heat for 8 minutes, or until the onions are a deep golden brown, stirring frequently.

Stir in the mortadella, stock, and cloves, and bring to a gentle bubble over medium low heat. Cover and cook 15 minutes, or until the beans are tender. Watch for sticking and if the beans threaten to scorch, stir in 1/4 cup water.

Concentrate the flavors by uncovering the pot and boiling off all the liquid, turning and stirring to protect from sticking. Once reduced to a thick sauce, turn into a warmed bowl.      -Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Green Beans Bolognese,

It’s How To Dress Up Those Summer Green Beans!



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  1. That’s a delicious way to kick them up a bit. I will give this a shot.

  2. I have been adding pancetta to my beans. I still have some Mortadella in the frezzer. I will take the recipe to give it a try. Thanks, Lea Ann.

  3. Oooh, this looks lovely! I’ll have to make it for Zio sometime 🙂

  4. Yum!!!

  5. Yum, garden tomato – you must have at least a little Italian blood in you!

  6. Caramelized green beans? I’ve never heard of such a thing but it sounds seriously tasty!

  7. Yum. I’ll be my boys would even love these beans! There’s just so much yummy flavor in there. Great recipe!

  8. It looks delicious! Love green beans and this is a must try!

  9. I love the idea of using chicken stock – I’m wondering why I never thought of this. Great recipe!

  10. Oh yeah, love the bacon in the beans 😉 I’m gonna have to try bolognese on my green beans, it actually sounds like a natural combo, huh? YUM!

  11. Wow…missed this from Tony’s; seems my inbox has been overflowing and I’m deleting a lot of good stuff.

    This looks delicious; I could make a meal out of JUST the green beans!

    Glad we’re back in sync; still recuperating but now woman w/cane…maybe that coffee or lunch could actually happen!

  12. I love green beans and never get tired of them. At this time of the year, they are so nice and tender and I cannot resist buying them when I see them. Thanks for this recipe. I’ll give it a try. It sounds so flavorful.

  13. What I want to know is why you would ruin good bolgona with green beans? Of course, I’m just a smart-aleck who was feed too many green beans (string beans as they were known down south) growing up.

    • Well, you do have a good point! 😉

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