Tonno con fagioll (tuna and cannellini beans)

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
225 grams Dried cannellini beans
1 Fresh bay leaf
1 Shallot; thinly sliced
2 Sprigs thyme
1 Garlic clove; peeled but left
; whole, plus 1 small
; garlic clove,
; crushed
75 millilitres Extra virgin olive oil; plus a little extra
; to serve
3 tablespoons Lemon juice
1 small Red onion; thinly sliced
3 tablespoons Chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 275 gram thi tuna loin steak
300 millilitres Inexpensive olive oil
1 Onion; thinly sliced
2 Garlic cloves; sliced
2 Fresh or dried bay leaves
¼ small Lemon; sliced
1 large Spri thyme

FOR THE TUNA CONFIT

1 Cover the beans with plenty of cold water and soak overnight. For the Tuna Confit: If possible, do this the day before as well, so you can leave it for 24 hours to allow all the flavours to permeate the fish.

2 Sprinkle a thin layer of salt over the bottom of a shallow dish, lay in the tuna and cover with another layer of salt. Set aside for 10 minutes.

3 Brush most of the salt off the fish and rinse it under cold water. Dry on kitchen paper and cut it if necessary into pieces that will fit neatly in the bottom of a small saucepan. 4 Heat 3 tbsp oil in the pan, add the onion and garlic and fry gently for five minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the bay leaves, lemon slices and thyme, add the tuna on top and pour over the rest of the oil.

5 If the oil doesn't cover the fish, add some more. Place the pan over a low heat and slowly bring the temperature of the oil up to 100c/220f.

Remove from the heat and leave the tuna to cool.

6 Drain the beans, tip into a large pan and add enough fresh water to cover by about 2.5cm/1". Boil and add the bay leaf, shallot, thyme and whole clove of garlic.

7 Simmer for about 45 minutes or until tender, topping up the level with boiling water if necessary to make sure they stay just covered.

8 Just as the beans are ready, return the tuna to a low heat and bring back up to 100c/220f. Drain the beans, discard the bay leaf, thyme and garlic and tip the beans into a bowl.

9 Toss with the extra virgin olive oil, crushed garlic, lemon juice, salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Leave to cool slightly.

10 As soon as the tuna is back up to temperature, lift it out of the oil and allow the excess oil to drain away. Break the fish into chunky pieces and season them with ½ tsp salt and some pepper.

11 Toss the red onion and parsley into the beans and carefully stir in the tuna so that you don't break up the flakes too much.

12 Spoon into a large serving bowl and drizzle over a little extra olive oil. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with plenty of crusty fresh bread.

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Recipe by: Rick Stein

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