A splash of vegetable stock or water can be added if needed during cooking. When finished, the tomatoes and soffritto will be cooked down and will coat the beans like a good ragu on fresh pasta. The mixture should not be too thin.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup soffritto
1 sprig of thyme
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half (or chopped heirloom tomatoes)
1 pound fresh Romano beans, or any fresh bean
2–3 leaves of basil, optional
lemon juice, optional
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large, heavy-bottomed (e.g., Creuset, Staub) sauté pan with a tight-fitting lid, add olive oil and garlic and set over medium high heat. Once the garlic starts to sizzle, add the soffritto, thyme, lemon peel and cherry tomatoes. Stir mixture, then add the beans, salt and pepper, and stir well, to coat. Let everything begin to sizzle a bit, then cover with the lid and reduce heat to medium low or low, keeping at a medium simmer. Cook until beans are tender, approximately 10–12 minutes. Remove from heat and add basil and a spritz of fresh lemon juice, if using.
The beans can be eaten right away, but are best left to cool in the pan first before serving tepid or being reheated slightly. To serve, drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil, cracked pepper and a nice flake sea salt.