Spicy Italian-style green beans

greenbeans

Castaño, our most misbehaved horse, still attends the School for Exceedingly Naughty Horses a couple of times a week and Léo has taken to accompanying us. I'm not sure whether he comes because he's looking for general naughtiness tips, or whether he's fallen for the stable's miniature goat. I suspect it's the latter; my family and I have an immoderate fascination for mischievous animals and this little she-goat fits the bill very nicely. They spend an hour climbing trees, inspecting muddy ditches, making the horses spook and charging each other with imaginary horns. She invariably takes pleasure in undoing Léo's shoe laces with her teeth and chewing them to bits. Is 'chewing the lace' a goat variation on 'chewing the cud' I wasn't aware of? Anyway, as I appear to lack the foresight to buy several replacement pairs at once, I've spent much of the past month on a quest for flourescent green laces. Never let it be said that I don't live life on the edge.

This dish makes a wonderful accompaniment to fish or meat, or it may be served as a light lunch or supper with a poached egg on top.

Ingredients (serves 6)

1kg green beans

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 red pepper, sliced

1 tomato, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

handful of pine nuts

12 black olives

6 anchovies

Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika, piment d'Espelette or chilli powder

10g Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Precook the beans until 'al dente', strain and set aside. Gently heat the olive oil in a large frying pan adding the onions and cooking for a few minutes. Add the sliced red pepper, tomato and garlic and continue to cook until the red pepper and tomato soften. Add the green beans, pine nuts, olives, anchovies and seasoning, gently combining and cook for a few more minutes.

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