These beans will complement any entree that you serve them with perfectly! The prosciutto and toasted pine nuts make for a smoky and earthy combination that you’ll want to make again and again.
My family loves this recipe, especially my husband. Whenever we have beans ready to harvest in the garden, this dish is what he requests. And I’m happy to oblige! For one, it’s easy to make, and second, it’s packed with flavor.
This dish is best using fresh beans. The type doesn’t really matter. We grow long beans in our garden, so that is what I use. You could even use frozen beans, but the texture of the beans would be less crisp. I do not recommend using canned beans as they are too soft for this recipe.
The beans can be cut to any length you like. I tend to cut mine 4 to 5 inches in length.
Do you have to use prosciutto? No. I use it when I can find it, but I have also used bacon. And it is fantastic with bacon!! I almost rewrote the recipe as “Green Beans with Bacon.” But in the end, I decided to leave it as is.
Whether you use prosciutto or bacon, slice it before you fry it. I cut them into 1-inch long by 1/2-inch wide pieces.
Toasting the pine nuts brings out a rich earthy flavor that completes this dish. I would not skip this step!
To toast them, use a dry, medium frying pan. Set the heat to medium-high. Toast the nuts, stirring frequently. They burn easily, so do not leave them unattended. The process takes about 5 minutes. They are done when they are fragrant and deep golden brown in spots.
Green Beans with Prosciutto
- 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
- 2 ½ teaspoons oil, divided
- 2 ounces prosciutto, cut into thin ribbons
- 4 garlic cloves, diced
- 2 teaspoons fresh sage, (1 teaspoon dried sage)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
- Over medium-high heat, toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet (do not add oil), stirring frequently, so they don't burn. This process should take about 5 minutes, and they should be golden and fragrant. Set aside.
- Prepare beans by washing and trimming the ends and then cutting to the desired length.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add beans, return to boil, and simmer until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes (less time for crunchier beans). Drain the beans and, rinse with cold water, set aside.
- Heat ½ teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add prosciutto; cook until crispy, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Using the same pan you cooked the prosciutto in (pour out any excess oil from the prosciutto), heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over medium heat. Add the beans, garlic, sage, salt, and several grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the beans are brown in places, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Plate the beans and sprinkle with prosciutto and pine nuts. Season as needed with additional salt and pepper.