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V Green Beans Italian Style

This recipe is very similar to one my aunt used to make. Try to find Italian flat beans or pole beans, but regular snap beans work as well. If you want a more substantial main dish, Italian sausage can be added. Slice and sauté before adding the garlic, then continue with the recipe as written.

2 pounds fresh green beans, cleaned and trimmed of ends
4 large tomatoes or 1 pound canned, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 large cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano or 1-2 tablespoons dried
Salt and pepper to taste

Snap the beans into 2-inch pieces, if desired. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes to soften slightly. Drain well.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until softened. Add the tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered, until tomatoes start to break down. Add the green beans and cook, uncovered, until bean are tender. Check often for moisture; cover the pan and reduce the heat if bottom is dry. Taste the beans for seasoning and add additional salt, pepper and oregano as needed. Cook for 10 additional minutes, or until beans are very tender.

Notes: Frozen green beans which have been thoroughly defrosted can be substituted for the fresh, although the effect of the dish is quite different. Do not blanch the frozen beans before using, and cut down on the cooking time. Even when using fresh beans, especially young tender beans, the blanching process may be omitted, but additional cooking time in the skillet will be needed.