Pasta con fagiolini, pomodorini e caccioricotta
Pasta with green beans, tomatoes and cheese
In Puglia this dish is made in the summer months using young green beans and small red tomatoes. Traditionally a pungent, hard, white cheese, cacioricotta, is grated on top, but it can be replaced by pecorino. Thick long pasta is usually broken into three lengths so that, when cooked, the beans and pasta look the same size. Visually the dish is very attractive, but it will taste just as good if you substitute a shorter pasta.
500 g small short pasta, like piccole penne, or bucatini or perciatelli broken in three
300 g thin green beans, trimmed and brken to be the same length as pasta
250 g small, red, full-flavour tomatoes, cut into halves
1 small onion, finely chopped
6 fresh basil leaves
3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T freshly-grated hard white cheese, like cacioricotta, or Pecorino
2 T extra virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper
Heat the oil and let the onion soften and begin to change colour before adding the tomatoes. After a few minutes add whole basil leaves and seasoning. Cook gently for a few minutes, but do not let the tomatoes start to break or shed their skins. Season lightly. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add salt, then throw in the green beans and, when the water has returned to the boil, the pasta. pasta. When the pasta is cooked but still al dente, drain and turn the beans and pasta into a large, shallow serving dish. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top, stir and arrange the tomatoes and basil over the top. At table sprinkle with cheese, stir and serve at once.