Sardinian Slow-cooked Flat Beans with Tomato, Pancetta and Chilli

These Slow-cooked Flat Beans with Tomato, Pancetta and Chilli are the first dish our cookery book reviewer Jack cooked when putting Letitia Clark’s Bitter Honey to the test. Although the book focuses on Sardinian recipes, Clark points out that similar recipes are cooked all over Italy, and across the Mediterranean region. Jack really enjoyed its gentle chilli spice and how the flat beans felt like thick noodles.

Read the full review of Letitia Clark’s cookbook Bitter Honey: Recipes and Stories from the Island of Sardinia.

Sardinian Slow-cooked Flat Beans with Tomato, Pancetta and Chilli

In Jack’s opinion, the pancetta is definitely the star of this dish, cutting through the acidic tomato sauce brilliantly. Although the recipe suggests that it’s optional, we recommend including it!

Sardinian Slow-cooked Flat Beans with Tomato, Pancetta and Chilli
5 from 3 votes

Sardinian Slow-cooked Flat Beans with Tomato, Pancetta and Chilli (Fagiolini Piatti in Umido con Pomodori, Pancetta e Peperoncino)

There are versions of this dish made all over Italy (and beyond – I’ve made a Persian one before when working at Morito). It’s a simple concept, and endlessly satisfying to eat; sloppy, noodlesoft beans in a rich, slurping tomato sauce. The Sardinian version of course contains added pig in the form of pancetta or guanciale, but you can easily make this vegetarian by omitting it. It keeps well in the fridge and is even better the day after. I like to eat it as a good simple lunch with some bread and cheese.
Servings 6 servings
Author Letitia Clark

Ingredients

  • 1 small white onion, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 50 g (1¾ oz) diced pancetta or guanciale, optional
  • 500 g (1 lb 1½ oz) flat beans, topped, tailed and cut into 10 cm (4 in) lengths
  • 500 g (1 lb 1½ oz) tinned or fresh chopped tomatoes
  • sea salt
  • basil leaves, to serve

Instructions

  • In a frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat, cook the onions in the olive oil with the chilli and bay leaf. Add the pancetta (if using). Continue to cook until just turning golden.

  • Add the beans to the pot and stir to coat them in the oil.
  • Next, add the tomatoes and turn the heat to a low simmer. Cook for 30–40 minutes, until the beans are soft and the tomatoes have formed a rich sauce. Season and serve, scattered with basil leaves.

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Sardinian Slow-cooked Flat Beans with Tomato, Pancetta and Chilli

 

Bitter Honey by Letitia Clark is published by Hardie Grant. Recipe extracted with permission. Photography by Matt Russell. 

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4 Comments to "Sardinian Slow-cooked Flat Beans with Tomato, Pancetta and Chilli"

  1. Richard Rosewell

    Tried this last night. Very easy to make and very tasty, will definitely have it again.
    Highly recommend.

    Reply
  2. Khushboo

    This looks like a wonderfully complex recipe that you know will be a party favourite! I think besides bread, it could pair wonderfully with some fragrant rice 🙂

    Reply
  3. Emma

    Just reading this is making my mouthwater – this sounds like a book that will become well-leafed with use over the winter months!

    Reply

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