Beans, together with bread, are the basis of traditional cuisine throughout Italy, with each region having many different recipes using these ingredients.
This Abruzzese dish of Sagne Pasta with Beans is characterized by the specific type of pasta used, a type of short tagliatelle, belonging to the traditions of this region.
Recommended wine pairing: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Famiglia Febo
The structure of Montepulciano is perfect to support the flavor and texture of this simple but hearty dish.
Ingredients For the Pasta:
- 400g/14oz durum wheat semolina flour
Ingredients For the Beans:
- 120g/4oz dried borlotti beans OR 400g/15oz can of cooked borlotti beans
- 400g/15oz passata or tinned, chopped tomatoes
- 300ml/1 ¼ cups water
- 2 celery stalks (only 1 stalk needed if using canned beans)
- 1 carrot
- 1 small onion
- 1 chili pepper, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
If you prefer, you can add 50g/2oz of smoked pancetta or bacon to the sauce when sautéing the celery, onion, and carrot for added flavor.
- If using dried beans, soak them in plenty of cold water for at least 12 hours. Drain and rinse before placing in a large pan with fresh cold water, a bay leaf and a stick of celery. Bring to a boil and let the beans simmer for around 45 minutes. Once cooked, drain the beans and keep to one side until needed.
- Begin by preparing the pasta dough. Put the flour into a bowl, along with a good pinch of salt. Add water a little at a time and keep kneading until you have a smooth ball of dough.
- Either use a pasta machine or roll out the dough with a rolling pin until the dough is about 2mm thick. Slice into strips around 4-5cm wide, dust with more flour and allow the pasta strips to dry out for at least 30 minutes.
- Start the sauce by finely dicing the celery, carrot and onion, and adding to a large pan with the olive oil. Sauté for a few minutes before adding the chopped chilli pepper and let the vegetables brown for a few more minutes.
- Add the tomatoes or passata along with the water, season with salt and pepper and simmer over a low heat for around 40 minutes. Add the cooked or canned beans and leave to simmer for around 15 minutes.
- Take the dried pasta strips and slice them into thinner pieces, around 1cm wide and 5cm long. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for a few minutes.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the beans in sauce, stir and allow to cook for a couple more minutes before serving.
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