Fagiolini di Sant'Anna just the way we make them in Tuscany. Native to this area, these unusually long beans are prepared and enjoyed in many different ways, but are most commonly stewed with fresh tomatoes. Traditionally prepared and served in the Middle Ages, this native green bean presents itself with not only a very delicious and distinct flavor, but also with an unusual appearance as it is very long, and narrow in size. Needless to say, because of its length this bean has been called with several names, such as fagiolino serpente (snake bean), fagiolo da metro (meter long green bean), spago (string), or frusta (whip). The length of these beans can reach up to 50cm, 11"-12" long. Today we are transforming these Yardlong beans into a delicious side that will leave you incredibly satisfied. Let's get started!
Wash the beans by soaking them in water mixed with about a 1/2 tsp baking soda for about 20 minutes. Doing this will remove impurities that may be present. Rinse them thoroughly with water.
Remove the ends from the beans.
Since these green beans are so incredibly long, gather a small bunch together and simply cut them into thirds.
Slice the garlic and chop the parsley. Set aside.
Blanch the Roma tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for about 1 minute. This will allow the skin to peel off very easily.
Remove the tomatoes from the boiling water, rinse under cold water, peel immediately, and dice them into bite size pieces. Set aside.
Drizzle olive oil into a preheated skillet and add the garlic. Sauté only until soft, allowing the aroma of the garlic to release. Avoid browning the garlic as this would change its flavor.
Add the beans and tomatoes into the pan, mixing everything together.
Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste, as well as some of the chopped parsley. Add 3/4 cup water if needed and give everything a good toss.
Make sure there is a gentle fire going on the left side of the oven and turn the damper on the chimney, as shown in the video. This will allow the oven to retain the heat necessary to stew the beans.
Don't worry if the temperature is higher than indicated for the beans at this point as it will drop when the oven floor is cleaned with the brass bristle brush. Check the temperature of the oven floor with the infrared thermometer before transferring the pot in.
Place a lid on the pot and put it in the oven. Close the door of the oven and allow the beans to come to a simmer.
As soon as the beans come to a simmer, stew them for an additional 10-15 minutes.
After 10 minutes, check to see if the beans are cooked. The beans should still be slightly firm, but not mushy.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving platter of your choosing. Sprinkle with additional freshly chopped parsley as well as a good drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!