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Shell Pasta with Green Beans and Cherry Tomatoes (Tofe con Fagiolini e Pomodorini)

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Serves 4

  • by Gino D’Acampo from Pasta Italiana

What a great vegetarian dish—full of flavors, colors, and of course, most importantly, very simple to prepare. Even someone who loves meat will like this. Substitute the cherry tomatoes with sundried tomatoes, if you like, but make sure you don’t use buffalo mozzarella because it will break down and become too runny.
 

  • 4 quarts water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 18 oz. medium pasta shells (look for tofe, which are about the right size)
  • 2-1/4 cups trimmed green snap beans, cut into quarters
  • 3/4 cup fresh peas (if not in season use frozen ones)
  • 8 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1-2/3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 shallots, peeled and sliced into rings
  • 2 fresh mozzarella balls, drained and cut into small cubes
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh marjoram or oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese

Measure the water into a large pot and bring to a boil with 2 Tbs. salt.

Cook the pasta with the beans and peas in the salted boiling water until al dente.

Drain the pasta, beans, and peas through a colander and rinse under cold running water immediately, to stop the pasta cooking. Once cold, let drain for 5 minutes. Drizzle with a little olive oil and give the pasta a good shake every minute or so.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, place the tomatoes, shallots, mozzarella, and marjoram or oregano. Pour over the extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and mix together.
 

Add the pasta, beans, and peas to the bowl, sprinkle with the Pecorino cheese, and gently mix everything together to allow the flavors to combine.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes.

Serve immediately or keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for the day after. Don’t keep longer than 48 hours and always eat at room temperature.

Photo: Kate Whitaker

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