Borlotti and shrimps

One evening while eating at the restaurant our friend ordered a dish with Borlotti beans. While eating he said something like "we just don't eat enough Borlotti beans, they are so nice" . This made me realize that I actually never cooked Borlotti beans myself. I always look at them in the shops and think how nice they look but I never cooked a borlotti dish.
The next day I turned to Locatelli for inspiration and found a recipe that to me seems like an archetype of on Italian dish. Borlotti beans with shrimps.

Our local fishmonger has lovely very red local shrimp and they don't even cost so much so next days dinner was set. Preparing the shrimps takes quite some time and the beans need 40 minutes to cook but beside this its a simple dinner. In fact we got quite addicted to this and had it at least once a week while we were in Sardinia.

You'll need:

  • 500 gr Borlotti beans
  • 3 garlic gloves skin still on
  • a celery stalk roughly chopped
  • a small bunch of sage
  • 15 scampi
  • 3 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1-2 chillies sliced depending on how spicy you like it
  • flat leave parsley roughly chopped
  • 1 fresh tomato or one canned pelati cut into dices
  • a glass of white wine
  • salt, pepper & olive oil

Cook the podded beans in a big pot of water. They need to be covered with at least 6 cm of water.
Add the sage, 3 garlic cloves with their skins still on, the chopped celery stalk and a bit of olive oil. Do not add any salt as this will stop the beans from becoming soft.
Bring to boil and cook for 40 - 60 minutes till tender.
Let them cool down in the pan.

Meanwhile prepare the scampi. Take of the peel at and remove the gut.
This is the black string going along the scampi's back. Leave the head on.

Finely chop 3 cloves, slice the chili. When the beans are cooked and have cooled down a bit start frying the scampi.
Depending on the amount of scampi you have, fry them in batches. The scampi need a bit of room in the pan otherwise they loose their juice and become dry. Fry the scampi with the garlic and the chillies in a dash of olive oil. When they turn opaque slightly press on them so they release some of their juice. This should prevent the garlic from becoming to brown. Add the white wine and let it evaporate. Take the scampi out of the pan and put aside.
Use the same pan for the beans. Sieve them out of the water and turn them a few times in the pan. Add the tomatoes and a glass of the bean's water and bring to boil. With a wooden spoon squash some of the bans so you get a thick sauce. Add the flat leaf parsley season and serve.

Serve with some bread and salad.

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