I recently was inspired to reorganize the inside of my refrigerator to look like a lush garden-forest, composed of vegetables that I impulsively pulled off the grocery shelves due to their color, shape, and texture (take a peek at the pantry). These fresh beans made an excellent ground-covering for the shelf, and they tasted fantastic in this Italian side dish.
The freshness of the beans lends a toothsome crunch and clean taste to the dish, while the soffritto is pure slow-cooked, savory comfort. It can be served as a side dish or eaten as simple weekday meal.
Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat. Add diced red onion, season with salt, and cook for 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in the tomato paste and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the sausage meat from its casing and stir into the onions and tomato mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the water and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes. At this point, the mixture should appear dry. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. After trimming the ends of the fresh green beans, blanch the beans for 5 minutes. Drain the beans and taste to determine if more salt is needed.
Then, add the remaining olive oil to the soffritto and heat until sizzling. Add the green beans and a splash of water, adjust the heat to medium-low, and simmer beans about 6 minutes.
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