Bean Genie, loves to be loved

I can’t tell if we’re at the end of the runner beans or not? I’ve just picked what looks like the last of them, and yet the plants have all started flowering again… They might not come to much but, as we love runner beans, I won’t dismantle them just yet.

One of my favourite ways to get through lots of runner beans is to use them as a pasta substitute.


Sliced long and skinny with a Julienne gadget (a real genie of a tool, for just a couple of quid). Dropped into lots of rapidly boiling salted water just until al dente (3 minutes?). Then tossed around in a pan of hot tasty flavourings (in my case, any  combination of bacon/garlic/olive oil/pine nuts/Parmesan/black pepper/spring onions)…

Runners beans done this way are better tasting than shop-bought pasta, in my opinion (although nothing, nothing, replaces proper Italian pasta!). Plus, you don’t get that post-pasta fatigue and regret (regret when actually in Italy is okay, by the way. In fact it’s essential. Think of all those movies… Room with a View, Death in Venice… Life’s too short not to eat all the pasta you like when in Italy).

All we need now is a clever nursery to develop a large flat runner bean for making ravioli and lasagne!

What’s your favourite runner bean dish? Any genius ideas to use them up? 

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