Excerpted from


by Matt Basile. Photography by Kyla Zanardi.


2 cloves garlic

10 whole fresh red chili peppers

1 tbsp.  olive oil

1 can chopped tomatoes

12 white pearl onions or Cipollini onions

1 lb. green beans, topped and tailed

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

7 oz. freshly grated Parmesan cheese


You’ve heard of the jumping bean? Well, this one kicks.

Finely chop the garlic and chilies. Warm the olive oil in a saucepan over high heat and toss in the garlic and chilies. Cook for approximately 2 minutes and then add the can of tomatoes with their juice. Cook the tomatoes, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Add 2 cups of water to the sauce, stir to combine and continue cooking for another 30 minutes.

In a separate saucepan, boil some water over high heat and add the onions. All you want to do here is blanch the onions briefly so that you can peel the skins off properly and so that they get really soft when you cook them with the beans and sauce. Cook the onions for 5 or 6 minutes and then remove them from the water and peel them immediately.

Low, slow and sugo

After the sauce has been cooking for 1 hour, throw in the green beans and the peeled onions. You can either blanch the beans in boiling water first for a few minutes or toss them in raw. Raw beans will have a darker, more rustic colour and blanched beans will stay brighter. I lean toward the rustic approach. Give the ingredients a good stir so that they’re completely covered with the sauce. Add the butter, an additional ½ cup of water and the Parmesan. Turn down the heat to low and allow the beans to slowly cook in the sauce for at least another 30 to 45 minutes or until the beans and onions are melt-in-your-mouth soft. Transfer the saucy beans to a large dish and grate Parmesan cheese all over them.