Fusilli with Runner Beans (Fusilli ai Fagiolini al Corallo)

Snijbonen are a very common type of green beans in the Netherlands that are available year-round. I have not come across them abroad, but some googling has turned up that they are called “runner beans” in English and “fagiolino al corallo” in Italian. They have a nice fresh green flavor that is different from haricots verts and in the Netherlands they are usually served as a side to meat, cut up into narrow strips diagonally, with a bit of nutmeg. Served like that I don’t care much for them, but I’ve found that I like almost every vegetable if prepared in a nice way. Therefore I created this very simple but tasty pasta dish that is by no means authentically Italian.

I cook the beans and then puree most of them with a bit of garlic, a bit of basil, extra virgin olive oil, and some parmigiano, to create something like a pesto. I suppose you could add some pine nuts, too. The beans have a delicate flavor, so it’s important to go easy on other ingredients like garlic and basil, as you would otherwise not be able to taste the beans anymore. I dress fusilli with this ‘pesto’, since that type of pasta can hold a sauce so well. The dish has a lovely fresh green color and tastes just like that as well. It is also very easy to make.


For 2 servings

400 grams (.9 lbs) runner beans

150 grams (.33 lbs) fusilli pasta

8 fresh basil leaves

2 Tbsp good extra virgin olive oil

4 Tbsp freshly grated parmigiano reggiano

1/2 clove garlic



Cut the ends off the beans and cut the beans into chunks. Keep some nice pieces apart to leave whole.


Boil the fusilli with the beans that you reserved in salted water according to package instructions.

Boil the remainder of the beans in salted water for 10-15 minutes or until tender.

Drain the beans.

Put them in the blender with the basil, garlic, and olive oil.

Blend until smooth, then add half the cheese.

Blend some more until well mixed.

Drain the pasta and put it back into the pot. Add the bean ‘pesto’.

Stir until the fusilli have absorbed the sauce.

Serve on warm plates, sprinkled with the remaining parmigiano.

14 thoughts on “Fusilli with Runner Beans (Fusilli ai Fagiolini al Corallo)

  1. That is such a gorgeous color! But are they not stringy? I get them often in my farmshare box but I find that every fifth one is horribly stringy–I think one bad one in the puree would make it inedible. I guess I could strain it, but that’s more your style than mine. 🙂 I love this idea, though–I’m going to try it when they turn up this summer! And I love how adventurous you’re getting with the vegetables. 🙂


    1. Thought you’d like this 🙂 Here they are never stringy — you don’t even have to remove the ‘hairs’ on the sides like you have to do with sugar snaps. I suppose they may get stringy when they are too old when harvested. If you cook them long enough and your blender is strong enough, it shouldn’t be a problem.


  2. oh lekker, Stefan! I like the idea of adding beans to pack in more protein. I’m always looking for ways to sneak in more vegetables to my meneer… looks like this is going to be the next try 🙂 thanks!


  3. Using beans to make pesto is a great idea and very creative of you, Stefan. This would make a wonderful Spring dish. Thanks for sharing.


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