How to Cook Italian Green Beans

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This post may seem rather basic, but cooking Italian green beans is different than cooking regular string beans.   The first time I had these were in Italy and if I was more astute at the time I’d have paid attention as to how my relatives prepared them.

Italian Green BeansFortunately, my mother in law grew them when I first met them, and I learned from her.  Actually, I also learned from her that they are sometimes sold in the freezer section of grocery stores, but they are hard to come by.

Italian green beans can also be called Roman beans.  They are not like the typical string bean most of us think about.  These are instead flat and long.  They also grow as a vine, not as a bush as you can see in my picture from my own garden this year.

They tend to produce late in the season and you can get a nice crop if you don’t accidentally weed wack some of the vines like I happened to do which killed half of them.



Cooking Italian Green Beans

A simple recipe for cooking Italian green beans, aka Roman beans.
Course Side Dish


  • Italian Green Beans
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • water
  • fresh basil (optional)


  1. Heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat in medium saucepan
  2. Add frozen or fresh green beans
  3. Add in a small amount of water for steaming (more water to cover if fresh beans)
  4. Drop in crushed garlic and give a good stir.
  5. Lower stove to low heat, cover and cook about 20 minutes or until tender.
  6. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers.

Recipe Notes

Tip #1: As the beans cook, they will turn into a darker more olive green color.  This lets me know it's almost done.

Tip #2: Add some fresh basil for some extra flavor. It tastes great!

Tip # 3: The reason for crushing the garlic is that it lends a good overall flavor without overpowering the beans. If you were to mince the garlic, the aroma would be stronger. But prepare it however you want it, that is the joy of cooking!

Tip #4:  Keep an eye while cooking these and add more water as needed to prevent burning.

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