I must admit that I make this superb side dish at least once a week.
Though there are regional variations of fagiolini in umido, this dish is seen all over Italy. This specific recipe would probably be more typical of Tuscany. In umido means ”in a sauce” or, word for word, humid, wet. Usually, the sauce is tomato-based like in this recipe. In the summer, I use fresh tomatoes but I very often use good quality canned tomatoes with excellent results. Canned cherry tomatoes are particularly interesting in here. If you use canned tomatoes, you will need to adjust the amount of water, possibly omitting it altogether. You may also want to use less beef bouillon powder depending on how salty the canned tomatoes are.
Now, remember, Italians like to eat their vegetables rather on the well done side and the beans in this recipe should be tender. Depending on how mature the beans are, the cooking time may vary. For a variation, add chopped green olives and torn basil leaves just before they are done.
Stewed green beans with tomatoes
500 g green beans, trimmed
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 pinch red hot pepper flakes
1 teaspoon beef bouillon powder
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1. Combine all the ingredients except the olive oil in a small pot and turn the heat on to medium. When boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and cover the pan partially.
2. Cook over medium-low heat until the beans are tender, about 25 minutes.
3. Turn the heat off, add the olive oil and toss. If the sauce is too liquid, remove the beans and reduce it until you have the right consistency before adding the olive oil. Adjust seasonings and serve warm or at room temperature.