Beanz meanz barrowfuls of fagioli to shell in September.
Sweet & creamy, beautifully dappled they may be, but when there are sackfuls of fagioli or to give them their real name borlotti beans to de-shell, everyone chips in to help.
Wheelbarrow in centre, bowls at the ready, you’ll hear what sounds like horses’ tails swishing against chat & laughter as those precious jewel-like beans are pulled away from the dried fibrous pods that make sackfuls of great compost or are just burnt depending on whose beans they are.
Lots of people ask why things taste so much better when they come to Abruzzo; I like to think in addition to the usual rant of it being local & sustainably produced that a little bit of community love attaches itself at these sort of occasions to those ingredients, as they are prepared for winter for use at home or to be sold on to a local supplier.
Here’s the 3 favourites of how my neighbours like to eat borlotti. Even with readily available meat today, they still keep to their main preferences with the veggie borlotti dishes that Abruzzo is famous for, due largely to its tough socio-economic history.
1. Pasta e Fagioli
Italia’s simple recipe celery, garlic, carrot, marjoram and a little parsley fried together a little with olive oil and fresh beans (preferable) & passata, add boiled beans and mix with pasta
3. Roasted pork with boiled borlotti & parsley as a side