© 2010 Green Kitchen Stories Farmers_tagliatelle

Linguine della via di Grotta Pinta 45

To tell you about this plate of pasta I need to take you back a couple of years. Back to when I was living in Rome, Italy. I had moved there to learn how to speak Italian, and I rented the most beautiful tiny tiny one bedroom apartment right in the centre of Rome, just around the corner from Campo de’ Fiori. My bedroom was my living room, and my living room was my kitchen … and it was a really small kitchen.

I didn’t have any fancy kitchen appliances or large set of spices, just the very basic: one frying pan, one pot for the pasta, one knife, one small little fridge, salt, pepper, chili flakes, olive oil and a pot of fresh basil in a glass jar in my window (the jar fell down on the roof of a car on my last day in that apartment, but that’s another (very expensive) story). The strange thing with this small kitchen is that I cooked some of the best meals in my life there.

Like this pasta. It is the most simple and basic pasta recipe I know, but it is also my favorite. All you need is a couple of fresh vegetables, some garlic, a can of Borlotti beans and some fresh basil. There are a couple of tricks that make this dish special: 1. Use the best vegetables you can find (make sure the tomatoes smell tomato). 2. Chop the vegetables in large chunks. 3. Don’t let the vegetables saute too long, they should just be tossed around a couple of times in the hot frying pan. 4. Use a lot of olive oil to bring out the flavors.

By the way. I did learn Italian and that made me so proud (even though I have already forgot half of it). I also met Luise there during my last month. Half a year later she moved to Stockholm and now we have a baby girl together.
That is the strangeness of life. I moved to Rome to become Italian and ended up having a baby in Stockholm with the most beautiful danish girl I have ever seen.

Now, let’s eat!

Linguine della via di Grotta Pinta 45
Serves 4

linguine for 4 persons (nowadays we use a gluten free buckwheat linguine)
olive oil
1 onion
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 zucchini
10-15 mushrooms
5 large tomatoes
2/3 cup of Borlotti beans
1/3 cup olives
fresh basil
salt and black pepper
parmigiano-reggiano (or pecorino if you prefer that)

Prepare the linguine according to package directions, but set it aside one minute too early. Chop the onion, zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes in large pieces. Chop the garlic and divide it into three small piles. Saute the onion and zucchini in a large frying pan with some olive oil and some of the garlic at high heat for a short while (around a minute), then pour it over to an empty plate. Without cleaning the pan add some more olive oil, some of the garlic and the mushrooms, saute for about a minute then pour it over to the plate with the zucchini. Add a little bit more olive oil to the pan, the rest of the garlic and the tomatoes. Saute for no more than a minute and then add Borlotti beans, olives, fresh basil, zucchini, mushrooms and the linguine. Stir it around. Add salt and pepper and let it all stir together for another minute. Serve immediately with some grated parmigiano.

Photos by: Johanna Frenkel


  1. Posted 24 Mar ’10 at 02:44 | #

    I absolutely adore this story, and this pasta looks divine. As always, your blog has positively charmed the socks off me. Lovely. Thank you for sharing your time in Italy with us! -Kim | http://www.affairsofliving.com

  2. Posted 24 Mar ’10 at 02:48 | #

    Oh yum! This recipe goes straight to my “I have to try this” list! :) Pasta is my favourite dish and this version looks divine! I like your story but I’d love to hear the expensive one too! ;)

  3. Noa
    Posted 24 Mar ’10 at 03:27 | #

    What a lovely story! The food looks great, too.

  4. Posted 24 Mar ’10 at 03:49 | #

    Lovely post. Lovely dish. I like the photos of your apartment!

  5. Posted 24 Mar ’10 at 08:57 | #

    I love your blog and I think I can smell the Linguine. hmmm. delicious

  6. Y
    Posted 24 Mar ’10 at 11:13 | #

    Lovely looking dish! It’s exactly the way I like eating and cooking pasta too – simple and fuss-free, using ingredients you mostly already have at hand.

  7. Posted 24 Mar ’10 at 14:35 | #

    This looks delicious and your photos are beautiful. Makes me long for summer!

  8. Posted 24 Mar ’10 at 17:08 | #

    Mmm! And “make sure the tomatoes smell tomato” is the quote of the day.

  9. Posted 24 Mar ’10 at 17:27 | #

    This looks so fresh and delicious! YUm! I do agree with you, because when I had a smaller kitchen and refrigerator then I was challenged more. I think I like the challenge! ;)

  10. Posted 25 Mar ’10 at 03:53 | #

    Proof positive that you don’t need a fancy kitchen or fancy cookware to cook fabulous food! Love the story, and love the dish!

  11. Posted 25 Mar ’10 at 16:51 | #

    So beautiful. Some of the best meals I have ever made were in our kitchen when we lived in London. It was a more generous space than your Roman one, but extremely spare by American standards. I had a tiny refrigerator so I had to shop every day and I LOVED how fresh everything I made tasted.

    I love the big chunks here served with the long strands of pasta. So enticing!

  12. Posted 25 Mar ’10 at 18:00 | #

    such a cute story :) You both are so great and I loved reading that little snippet of your life!

  13. Posted 26 Mar ’10 at 00:19 | #

    One more thing – I gave you a Happy 101 Award! It was given to me, and now I am passing on the joy. Follow the link to my blog for all the details! http://tinyurl.com/yzw7vr7

    Have a wonderful day :) – Kim | http://www.affairsofliving.com

  14. Posted 26 Mar ’10 at 17:13 | #

    Yum. Tasty!

  15. Posted 26 Mar ’10 at 23:26 | #

    Living in Rome sounds dreamy! This pasta dish looks PERFECT! :)

  16. Posted 31 Mar ’10 at 04:17 | #

    That looks so healthy and delicious!

  17. Posted 31 Mar ’10 at 05:00 | #

    Sweet story and gorgeous pasta… you make me want to live in Europe, at least for a little while :)

  18. Posted 31 Mar ’10 at 14:37 | #

    First time here. This looks healthy and delicious. Something my family will enjoy.

  19. Posted 1 Apr ’10 at 09:03 | #

    What a great pasta course that looks like! I wanna eat it right away.

  20. Posted 2 Apr ’10 at 05:10 | #

    Good God this looks delicious! But then again, so does everything you post!!

    I am hoping my life story is as interesting as yours :)

  21. Posted 5 Apr ’10 at 04:58 | #

    Beautiful dish and an even more beautiful story. Thank you much for sharing.:)

  22. Posted 8 Apr ’10 at 22:21 | #

    Wow, thank you for all your comments!!
    I will save the story about the pot of basil that fell on the car roof for another time. But to give you a hint of it, I will just tell you that I was renting the apartment from a member of the Italian Mafia (or so I belive), therefore the expensive part …

  23. Posted 12 Apr ’10 at 22:11 | #

    beautiful dish – simple is such a lovely philosophy in cooking.

  24. Posted 30 Apr ’10 at 07:58 | #

    I just discovered your site through foodbuzz and I am in love. Your photos are extremely beautiful and they all seem to just capture life with especially nice lighting. And the food. looks. delicious. All of it! Not to mention healthy! Thanks for a wonderful blog, I am definitely adding you to my favorites and my blogroll.

  25. Posted 13 May ’10 at 19:23 | #

    FANTASTICO! Such beautiful pictures, your recipe and description is great! Thanks for sharing

  26. mac attack
    Posted 24 Jun ’10 at 19:02 | #

    nu har jag lagat min första greenkitchenmiddag. vill ha soppa till lunch, skriv om soppa.
    ha det sweet i italy (så jävla dåliga på fotboll!)
    hlsn. från lidköping

  27. polishko
    Posted 15 Nov ’10 at 18:16 | #

    This was one of the most delicious recipes I have tried in my life!

  28. camilla moen
    Posted 28 Feb ’11 at 14:54 | #

    Namnam !! This looks so good :) I just found ur blog and I know that I will be making “trying” to make some of your recipes.
    I can wait :D

  29. Posted 9 Mar ’11 at 00:50 | #

    Made this last night! It was simple & oh so good! I’m falling head over heals in love with your blog.

    Thanks for sharing!


  30. Iris
    Posted 4 Apr ’11 at 17:31 | #

    I made this over the weekend, but replaced the linguine by organic whole kamut penne. so simple, but so damn lovely. my absolute favorite pasta dish from now on! thanks!

    • Posted 5 Apr ’11 at 08:44 | #

      Thank you Iris! Glad you liked it. Sounds like a good idea with kamut penne, I’ll try that next time.

  31. Posted 19 Apr ’11 at 22:47 | #

    I have cooked this recipe over and over again! Now that moving to Italy is a reality for me, I’ll be using it to keep me dreaming of my new home and make it one of the first of many to be cooked in my Italian kitchen:)

    Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes!


  32. Posted 15 May ’11 at 19:50 | #

    I just stumbled upon your blog while looking for some inspirational recipe, and this one is exactly the one I was looking for :D.
    You’ve mastered the Italian way of cooking, and you deserve the appreciation of an Italian like me for this :).
    The life is strange, btw, and I agree: I’m an Italian guy and I moved to Stockholm last year, so I know the feeling! :)
    Vi ses snart ;D

  33. Posted 18 Nov ’11 at 01:49 | #

    I fell in love with your story! Also with your recipes and your family. I absolutly adore your page, the pictures, everything!
    Thanks for sharing!

  34. Posted 22 Nov ’11 at 01:56 | #

    I was browsing through your website (i’ve been reading for a while…) and stumbled upon this. I too fell in love with by husband to be in Rome. It is the most magical place on earth.

  35. Posted 4 Mar ’12 at 22:31 | #

    I found your post endearing — perhaps because my current kitchen is tini-tinny like in the picture — so I gave your recipe a try. I’m definitely not sorry I did. I will be making this over and over again.

  36. Posted 8 Apr ’12 at 23:34 | #

    Hi ! I am a big fan of your blog. It’s radiant, beautiful, fresh. I am Swiss…but half Italian, and Rome is the city of my childhood, so I can’t even tell you just how happy I feel when I read a post like this. Thanks.Merci…Grazie !

  37. Posted 13 Apr ’12 at 22:46 | #

    Mi é piaciuta molto la tua storia nella piccola camera, il tuo piccolo salone e la tua piccolissima cucina, nel centro di Roma.

  38. enrica
    Posted 8 Jul ’13 at 12:39 | #

    una storia davvero dolce come un buon vecchio film!

  39. Posted 9 Jan ’14 at 10:09 | #

    Caprese e acqua guizza. Allora sei proprio mezzo italiano ; )

  40. Jiya
    Posted 15 Apr ’14 at 15:43 | #

    The weather here in Ireland today is amazing today, so sunny and warm, and it asked for a simple, healthy, pretty and delicious Italian meal I thought. I cooked this and it tasted amazing, the best pasta I’ve ever made I think. Thanks guys!

  41. Posted 1 Nov ’14 at 16:56 | #

    i’ve been following for quite some time but never read this post before, i had no idea you lived in rome :) i just left rome and relocated in Mauritius, even though i dream about the Big North….

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