This bean dish is a Venetian specialty, similar to the famous bigoli in salsa. Salsa di magro, meaning lean sauce, is the term given to a sauce made without meat during Lent. This recipe works best with fresh borlotti beans. Make sure you use good-quality anchovies and feel free to toss through some parsley for a little extra colour.
- 800 gm fresh podded borlotti beans (1.6kg unpodded)
- To serve: crusty bread slices (optional)
Salsa di magro
- 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Spanish onions, thinly sliced
- 8 anchovy fillets, rinsed, plus extra (optional) to serve
- 1Place beans in a saucepan, cover completely with cold water, bring to the boil over medium heat and cook until tender (20-30 minutes). Drain (reserve 100ml cooking water) and keep warm.
- 2Meanwhile, for salsa di magro, heat oil in a large frying pan, add onion and sauté over low heat until very tender and starting to caramelise (15-20 minutes), add anchovies and reserved cooking water and stir until anchovies break up and dissolve (3-5 minutes). Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper, toss through beans and serve warm with crusty bread slices and extra anchovies.
Drink Suggestion: Gutsy southern Italian rosato. Drink suggestion by Max Allen