Saturday, 26 May 2012

Mancarica de fasole grasa galbena

“Yellow Romano bean stew”

I saw these yellow beans in the market at Obor and couldn’t resist buying them as they looked so fresh and it was the first time I had seen them this year. I had no idea what I was going to cook with them but I thought I’d cross that bridge when I got home. To be honest, I didn’t even know what these beans were as I’d only ever seen the green ones before. They were labelled ‘fasole grasa’ (fat beans) in the market and when I got home, with the aid of my trusty search engine, I found out that they are called Romano beans. I asked a friend for some suggestions and came up with two recipes (actually recommended by her mum). This one is a ‘mancarica’, which is the diminutive of ‘mancare’, which basically just means ‘a dish of...’. It’s actually something like a stew and could be eaten on its own (good one for vegetarians maybe), or you could add some chunks of meat to it, but mostly it’s served as a side dish to accompany meat. I used just over half of the kilogram of beans I had bought for this dish and the rest I used to make the other bean dish; a salad of yellow Romano beans with garlic.

Time: 80 minutes
Servings: 2-3 as a side dish

600g of yellow Romano beans
2 medium onions, finely chopped
Olive oil
150ml of water
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
Salt and pepper
Some chopped parsley

1. Wash the beans and trim off the tops and tails. Break each one into 5cm pieces (if they are young and fresh, they should break easily but older ones later in the season might need a knife).
2. In a large saucepan or deep frying pan heat a couple of good glugs of olive oil and sauté the onion on a low heat until soft and starting to go golden (about 10 minutes).
3. Add the beans and about 150ml of water and mix well with the onions. Keeping them on a low-ish heat, cook for about 60 minutes until the beans are cooked, but retain a little crunch, and the water has evaporated or been absorbed. If the water starts to dry out, and a splash more.
4. When you’re satisfied with the texture of the beans, add the tomato paste, season to taste, and serve hot sprinkled with the parsley. Some people even add a pinch or two of paprika.

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