I have always grown beans in my vegetable garden. They grow well and we like them. The only problem I have had are groundhogs eating the young plants when they are only an inch or two high. So I plant two rows of beans between two rows of peas which I provide with a chicken wire fence on which to grow. I close off the ends of the 4 rows until the bean plants are well established. I actually prefer yellow Rocdor beans, but this recipe calls for green beans, so that's which I picked. Bean plants are heavy producers. I picked these beans early in the season last July when they are best, in my opinion.
Marcella explains the meaning of pasticcio - similar to the French pastiche - you know, a bit of a mess. In cooking it refers to a mix of cheese and vegetables, meat or cooked pasta, bound by eggs or béchamel, or both. No meat or pasta in this recipe, but all the rest are present - ingredients below.
The directions were pretty straightforward and easy to follow, with only one glitch. The beans are cut into 1-inch lengths and cooked in a sauté pan with butter and some water. Marcella's instructions call for a sauté pan that can contain all the beans snugly, but without overlapping. I have two sauté pans, but neither of them will accommodate 1 pound of beans cut into 1-inch pieces without overlapping. Marcella must have some big pans.
The final result was excellent.
What I liked about this recipe:
A great way of using some of the bounty from my garden. And a bit of a classy way of serving up the humble green bean.
What I didn't I like about this recipe:
Would I make it again?
Well, that was a subject of some discussion chez Doug. While this recipe is fine, fresh green beans on their own are also excellent and an anticipated crop from my garden. "The beans are ready!", is a sure sign of summer and means at least a couple of months bypassing most of the vegetable section of our local supermarket, as other crops ripen in the garden.
So, while I will make this recipe again, it will probably not be very often - perhaps when we have some friends over for dinner.