Green Bean Ragu

This week’s cooking is going to be heavily inspired by the Michael Chiarello’s Bottega cookbook. I can hardly believe my last visit to Bottega, one of my favorite restaurants ever, was almost two years ago. Time for this girl to get back to Napa.

Saturday was a pretty lazy day; pretty much all we got done was some shopping and baking and getting my broken phone attended to. When 7:00 rolled around, I wanted a simple dinner, so I set to work making Chiarello’s Calabrese Romano Bean Ragu.

The ragu can be served many ways, in a sandwich, as the book suggests, over pasta, as a side, or on its own. I decided to make it a light dinner. And while it was very easy, it was full of spectacular flavor.

I started with about two cups of green beans which I chopped into thirds and set aside. I also chopped about eight small red potatoes into half moons.

potatoes and green beans

First, the potatoes went into a pot of salted, cold water, and were brought to a boil and allowed to boil for a few minutes. I strained them out of the boiling water and threw the beans in.

I made sure the potatoes were nice and dry and added them to a pan of olive oil, about 1/3 cup that was being heated. I made sure that each potato had contact with the bottom of the pan and then left them so that they could a  nice brown crust.

frying potatoes

They came out lovely, tender, and golden.

fried potato

Once the potatoes were done, I strained the beans and added the potatoes, beans, a can of crushed plum tomatoes, three cloves chopped garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper to a pot. I brought the mixture up to a simmer and let it do its thing for about 10 minutes. The smell in the kitchen was incredible. I thought the heat of the tomatoes would go well with a crumbled goat cheese topping, so while the ragu simmered, I crumbled some up.

goat cheese

I served us heaping portions of the ragu topped with the cheese, which got soft and melty and blended in with all of the other ingredients. We were only missing a crusty loaf of bread for dipping!

bean ragu

I love the Bottega cookbook, and I have a feeling you will be seeing a lot of it. The food is rustic, and many of the recipes very simple. If only I could make my gnocchi as perfect as it is at the restaurant.

Have you been inspired by any cookbooks lately?

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Tags: Bottega, cookbooks, Food, recipe, Vegetarian

  1. Daisy’s avatar

    this looks incredible! my cookbook inspiration is lacking, i should change that!


  2. Emily @ A Cambridge Story’s avatar

    Those potatoes look perfectly crisped! I definitely rely on online recipes more than cookbooks but I love my Cooks Illustrated cookbook. Such a great resource!


  3. Elizabeth’s avatar

    This looks really good. Potatoes in tomato sauce plus goat cheese sounds heavenly


  4. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic’s avatar

    This sounds delicious Meghan and something I would definitely love to recreate at home. Potatoes, green beans, tomato sauce and goat cheese sounds like a great combo!


  5. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    Looks delicious. I haven’t bought a new cookbook in a while. I need to actually use the ones I have!


  6. Eric King’s avatar

    Delicious and Summery – I cannot wait for the next trip back to Northern California to re-live the thoughts this dish brings to my mind.


  7. Megan’s avatar

    Yum! That looks amazing! I try to use some of my more veggie-heavy cookbooks at this time of year, so A Platter of Figs and Market Vegetarian are my go-to ones at the moment.


  8. Jen@ cybercellar’s avatar

    Wow- thanks for this recipe! Will definitely give this recipe a try and pair it with a South African Chenin Blanc I have in mind…

    A recipe book I’ve been inspired by lately is a cook book by a South African Author Lynn Bedford Hall. It’s called Fig Jam and Fox Trott. She has the easy and tasty ‘cheat recipe’ for Butter Chicken Curry. It’s the perfect dish to have with my favourite Syrah- La Motte Shiraz 2008 from South Africa.

    Look forward to more recipes :-)


    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      Yum. . . I love butter chicken curry and will check out both your cookbook and wine suggestions!


    2. Michelle’s avatar

      I am glad to see that this cookbook went to good use! This looks delicious!


    3. Terri’s avatar

      This looks delicious! We went to a restaurant that served this over steak, too!


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