1. Top and tail the beans and pull off any hard strings around the edges; wash in cold water and drain.
2. Place into boiling salted water, bring back to the boil, skim and boil uncovered fairly rapidly for 4 minutes, keeping the beans crisp and green.
3. Sauté 100 g chopped onion and 2 chopped cloves of garlic in 75 g olive oil until lightly browned; add 100 g strips of cured ham, toss in the beans, cover with a lid and cook for a further 2 minutes.