Food Gardening Network
Traditional Italian green beans

Traditional Italian Green Beans

Simple ingredients cooked to perfection are the hallmarks of cucino povero, or poor cooking, the Italian way. You won’t believe how easy it is to take green beans, tomatoes, and a handful of other ingredients you surely have on hand and turn them into a savory, satisfying, and nutritious meal.




  1. Place olive oil in a large heavy pot on medium-high heat, then add the chopped onion and celery pieces. Sauté until the onions just begin to brown.
  2. Add tomato purée and stir. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add about 1 cup (8 ounces) water, and about 3/4 teaspoon of Kosher or sea salt. Bring to a boil, simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Add the fresh or frozen green beans. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes or until beans are almost cooked, then mix in the pre-cooked or canned shelled beans.
  5. Cook until green beans are tender and taste for salt and pepper, adding if necessary. Remove the pot from the heat and take out the celery and leaves, if desired. Serve with crusty Italian bread, eating it with the Italian green beans.