"Crisp bacon bits! What's not to love?" says Mike Eggert. "Roman beans are easily our favourite bean. They aren't around all year, so get them when you can. They're meaty and hardy enough to take a good smoky grilling – almost the perfect vegetable in our book."
- 1 large head of garlic
- 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
- 75 gm smoked bacon rashers, diced
- 400 gm passata
- 300 gm Roman beans, or other long bean
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1Preheat oven to 180°C. Sit garlic on a double layer of foil, drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil, wrap and roast until tender (45-60 minutes). Unwrap and leave to cool.
- 2Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, fry bacon over medium-low heat, stirring often, until fat renders and bacon becomes crisp (12-15 minutes). Drain on paper towel.
- 3Simmer passata in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until very thick (18-20 minutes). Remove from heat. Squeeze roasted garlic out of its skin and coarsely chop. Fold into tomato sauce and season to taste.
- 4Heat a char-grill pan over high heat. Toss beans with 1 tsp oil, season to taste and grill, pressing them on the base of the pan, until lightly charred and softened (3-4 minutes each side). Halve width ways, add to sauce along with lemon juice and remaining oil. Scatter with bacon and serve.