Inspired by Romana Neri, head chef at Olive Garden Riserva di Fizzano restaurant in Tuscany and the Culinary Institute of Tuscany.
Heat oil in a small saucepan at medium high heat. Add onions and crushed red pepper. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in wine, rosemary, parsley and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk cornstarch and chicken broth. Add mixture to sauce and stir well. Bring to a boil and set aside.
Heat sauté pan over medium high heat. Add green beans and tomato and cook for 1 minute. Add Romana sauce and hot, drained penne pasta. Add Romano and Parmesan cheeses. Stir well with a spoon, making sure the pasta is well coated. Serve hot.
· 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
· 2 shallots, peeled and sliced
· 3 sprigs Italian parsley
· 1 bay leaf
· 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
· 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
· 4 tablespoon (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
· 28 oz. can chopped plum tomatoes (with juice)
· 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 recipe homemade pappardelle, cooked and drained (see Homemade Pasta in chapter introduction), or dried pappardelle cooked according to package directions.
Pour the stock into a small pan. Add the shallots, parsley, bay leaf, rosemary and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside and allow to steep for 20 minutes. Drain.
Melt the butter in a large heavy skillet. Add the stock and tomatoes. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until mixture is reduced by half.
Meantime, make the pasta. Cook it in a large pot of boiling, salted water for 3 to 4 minutes or until firm, but tender. Drain immediately. Add the cheese to the sauce and toss with the pasta.
Serves 4 to 6 as a main course or 7 to 8 as the pasta course.