Green beans in tomato sauce are a very popular side dish in Italy and are cooked in each region in more or less the same way. That is, with green beans blanched and then sautéed in a pan with garlic (or onion) and peeled tomatoes, as well as a seasoning of your choice between parsley, basil or mint. On this basis, some other typical products of the area are sometimes added, which are generally grated cheeses or sausages. It is rare that other ingredients are added, as is the case with these green beans in tomato sauce peppers.
It is a typical recipe from Friuli Venezia Giulia. where is it used paprika of Hungarian origin, which however is also rightly considered a traditional ingredient of the region. In fact, paprika spread significantly in Hungary in the 18th century, with progressive improvements in both the cultivation of the basic red pepper and in production methods. In the first half of the 19th century it was already in frequent use throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Where goulash has been appreciated for a long time, of which paprika is an important ingredient. It then began to be exported throughout Europe starting in 1860, when a way to produce it sweet from hot peppers was discovered. [Potete trovare informazioni dettagliate, in inglese, nel sito ungherese del Paprika Muzeum].
All this, obviously, has a lot to do with the traditions of Friuli Venezia Giulia. Region that, as is known, was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until 1866 and the easternmost part until 1918.
After all Friulian cuisine has always been characterized by the fusion of very different traditions: peasants and nobles, Mediterranean and central and eastern Europe. Traditions that were assimilated during the government of the Most Serene Republic of Venice first and then of the Habsburgs. All that can be found in this simple green bean side dish.
From a gastronomic point of view, There are different types of paprika, coming mainly from Hungary, but not only. For example, a popular smoked paprika is produced in Spain. But also in our south what we simply call bran pepper powder It is in all respects an excellent sweet paprika. In fact, in Basilicata and Calabria it is traditional to use pulverized bran peppers to flavor both pasta and boiled and fried vegetables. Exactly like our green beans in tomato sauce with paprika.
There are varieties of paprika that are more or less spicy, but the sweet ones clearly predominate. This last term should be understood only as “not spicy”, since in itself Bitter touches predominate in paprika.. In this sense, indeed, it is essential to remember that paprika should only be used in liquid preparations (soups, stews), or added at the last moment with the heat off. In fact, it is a product that caramelizes very quickly and if you fry it (or worse, burn it) it acquires an unpleasant bitter aftertaste.
- 600 g green beans
- 400 g tomato puree
- 2 cloves of garlic
- abundant parsley
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Clean the green beans by removing both ends and possible filaments. Pour them into plenty of boiling water with salt, bring them to a boil again and let them cook over low heat for the time necessary for them to soften and become very al dente. They will take between 7 and 13 minutes, depending on their quality and freshness. Drain them and cut them in half.
- Cut the two cloves of garlic into four parts and fry them in a frying pan with 3 tablespoons of oil. As soon as the garlic turns golden, add the tomato and let it season with the lid on and over low heat for a few minutes. Once finished, remove the garlic pieces.
- Pour the green beans into the pan, add two tablespoons of chopped parsley, season with freshly ground pepper, season with salt and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, always with the lid on and over low heat, stirring a couple of times.
- Finally, we remove the lid and complete the cooking for a few minutes, adjusting the heat to reduce the background sauce as much as possible. Sprinkle the green beans with a tablespoon of paprika – more or less strong, to your liking -, stir so that it dissolves in the seasoning and immediately turn off the heat. Serve your green beans with tomato sauce and paprika very hot, decorating with a little more chopped parsley.