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Fried String Beans - Fagiolini Fritti

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These fried string beans are an old Neapolitan recipe, a quick, tasty antipasto that will also work nicely as part of a fritto misto. Cavalcanti says to season the fried string beans with a sweet and sour sauce, which, he adds, will go well with other fried foods as well. This is a 19th century seasoning, and now many people would possibly omit the sweet and sour, preferring to go with just salt to season their fried string beans. You can choose according to your preference.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 10 ounces (250 g) string beans, tips snapped off
  • Salt
  • Flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Oil for frying
  • ** The Sweet And Sour Sauce **
  • 3/4 cup vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 5 amaretti
  • 2 ounces (50 g) day old bread, crusts stripped and discarded, and the crumb crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt & pepper
  • A pinch of powdered cinnamon
  • 2 ounces (50 g) minced candied citron peel
  • 2 ounces (50 g) raisins
  • 2 ounces (50 g) shredded almonds


To make the string beans:

Blanch the beans in lightly salted water, drain them, and pat them dry. Dredge them in the flour, dip them in the egg, dredge them in bread crumbs, and fry them in hot oil until golden, before draining them on absorbent paper.

Mr. Cavalcanti suggest you also use other vegetables, for example celery sticks and zucchini sliced lengthwise, blanching them too and then flouring them.

To make the Sweet and Sour Sauce:
Bring the water and vinegar to a boil and add the amaretti and the bread crumb to it, together with the cinnamon. Season with salt and pepper and let the mixture cook, adding more water as needed to keep it from drying out. After about 10 minutes add the peel, raisins, and almonds. Continue cooking over a low flame until the sauce is fairly dense and well amalgamated, and at this point taste it to see if more sugar or vinegar is necessary. Serve it either hot or cold, with fried foods or hard boiled eggs.

Yield: 4-6 servings fried string beans.

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