The spice of the pepper, savory crunchy sage, and nutty Reggiano make this the perfect side dish for a soup. The key, my mother learned, is that you need to take the sage leaves off and place them in a bowl, uncovered, so they remain crisp.
1 1/2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon ghee
1 pound of green beans, ends removed
A handful of sage leaves, washed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water w/ a pinch of baking soda
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Heat the oil until hot but not smoking, and deep fry the sage leaves until they curl and turn dark but not burnt (1 minute). Take out and put aside. Add the the beans and saute. Cook for 1 minute. Add in ground black pepper. Add in the water. Lower the heat and cover until tender. Stir once in awhile and make sure there’s enough liquid. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Place in a serving dish and top with the Reggiano and then sage. Serve immediately.
Note: Adding baking soda into the water makes it alkaline which prevents the cell wall from breaking down, and leaching out the chlorophyll (and with it the color) into the water. Basically, it keeps your greens green.