String Beans and Potatoes
Fagiolini e Patate al Tegame
"Greens and starch all in one—when you serve this next to grilled meat or fish, you will need no other side dish."
– Lidia Matticchio Bastianich (Lidia's Italian Table)
The young woman handed over the bag, now filled with late summer tomatoes and green beans. "$4.50."
This is simple. I can do this. I did.
"I'll just blanch them for tomorrow." I said.
Just blanching felt incomplete. After seven minutes in salted, boiling water, I let the beans sit another five minutes on the counter before rinsing them under cool water. A taste. These are perfect. Perfect.
I peeled two potatoes (Yukon Gold), cubed, and covered with just enough water and salt. Boil.
Fork tines delivered the news. Potatoes ready. A taste. These are perfect. Perfect.
Quickly I drained the potatoes, dumped and spread them onto paper towels where they would linger for a bit while I chopped the garlic (two cloves).
A non-stick pan (our largest non-stick pan) was readied with olive oil, the chopped garlic, and a healthy dose of crushed red pepper (lots). I waited while the flame licked the bottom of the pan.
The moment arrived.
Green beans into the pan. Potatoes into the pan. Salt. Cracked black pepper. A toss and flip. A retrieval of a rogue bean. A taste. Needs a bit more salt. Another toss and flip. Another retrieval. This time, a rogue potato. Steam wafted. The sizzle harmonized with the sound of doneness. A taste. Just right. This is good.
"How long did you boil the potatoes?"
"Until they were cooked."
"That's the perfect answer."