Angelo Pellegrini (1904-1991) is a Seattle area legend. His recipe for basil pesto written for Sunset Magazine in 1946 was likely the first pesto recipe ever published in the US. An Italian immigrant, food writer, and Professor of English at UW, he left us with a body of writing that includes “The Unprejudiced Palate”, “Wine and the Good Life”, “The Food Lovers Garden”, and “Lean Years, Happy Years”, works both nostalgic and visionary in equal parts that speak to a life and culture centered around the kitchen, the garden, and the cellar. He also left us a bean. The little grey and white Italian bean known to Angelo as “Monachine” (or little nuns), originally a gift of his winemaker friend Robert Mondavi’s uncle, could be found growing in his Seattle area garden for over a half-century. Pellegrini was very, very fond of the bean, famously enjoying them one at a time with just a drizzle of olive oil. Years after his death, Angelo’s son Brent gifted the Herbfarm restaurant, an early farm-to-table pioneer, 11 seeds from which they endeavored to bring it back from the brink of being lost. The short, light green pods can be enjoyed as stringless fresh beans, but in our opinion, the variety truly shines as a shelly or dry bean with a deep flavor and creamy texture that inspires one to savor slowly. The plants are vigorous climbers and prolific producers, a bit later than many of our beans perhaps, but well equipped to endure some weather around harvest time and still make it into the pantry without much fuss.
100-110 days. UO
Packet: 40 seeds