Marcella Hazan’s Green Beans with Yellow Peppers, Tomatoes, and Chili Pepper

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I was invited to join a cookbook book club last year and being a fan of books, cooking, baking, and meals with friends I was delighted to join. It has been a fun experience this past year to be introduced to different cookbooks and to be challenged to cook and find recipes from a variety of places I otherwise might not know about. We meet every few months to bring together a potluck of our favorite recipes we have tried from the cookbook and talk about everything from the matter at hand (food), to the travels we have taken, life moments we have experienced, our jobs, movies and books. In this first year we have cooked, baked, devoured, delighted, and shared from the recipes of Smitten Kitchen (a favorite), Food 52, Ottolenghi, David Lebovitz, America’s Test Kitchen Vegetarian (one of my new favorite cookbooks!), Root to Leaf, Seven Spoons, and most recently Marcella Hazan.

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I was familiar with Marcella Hazan, her recipes, and her great impact on cooking (as influential to Italian cooking as Julia Childs was to French cuisine) but I had never really delved into her cookbook. The joy of the cookbook book club for me is it makes me look deeper at the cookbooks we select and not just at a favorite recipe or 2, but to read the book and find the recipes that I want to try. And the Essential Italian Cookbook was the perfect cookbook for this I could try pasta and sauces, and vegetables, salads, (someday I may try to make my own focaccia), I even tried a little sweet baking.

One of my favorite recipes that I found myself making more then a few times was for Green Beans with Yellow Peppers, Onion, Tomatoes and Chili. It was easy to make and the flavors elevated it in a perfect combination to a dish that felt like so much more then any of its parts.

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Marcella Hazan’s Green Beans with Yellow Peppers, Tomatoes, and Chili Pepper

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh green beans

1 sweet yellow bell pepper, cut into long strips less than 1/2 inch wide

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion sliced very thin

2/3 cup canned tomatoes chopped coarse, with their juice, or fresh, ripe tomatoes, peeled and cut up

Salt

Chopped hot red chili pepper (or chili flakes) to taste

Snap both ends off the beans, soak them in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Put the oil and onion in a sauté pan, turn the heat on to medium, and cook until they become translucent. Add the strips of yellow pepper and the chopped tomatoes with their juice. Turn all ingredients over to coat them well, and adjust the heat to cook at a steady, but gentle simmer until the oil floats free from the tomatoes (approx. 10 – 15 min).

Add the raw green beans, turn them over 2 to 3 times to coat them well, add 1/3 cup water or less if you are using fresh tomatoes, salt pepper, and chili pepper. Cover and cook at a steady simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes, adding more liquid as needed. 

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11 2015

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