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Fagioli E Tonno – White Bean And Tuna Salad

I first learned about Saveur when I was visiting my uncle in Paris. He is a photographer and had just done a shoot for them and had a bunch of issues lying around. That was about 4 years ago and I have been subscribing ever since.

I have always read each issue cover to cover, but I haven’t been to good about trying the recipes though. I think is going to change though. This months issues is all about Roman food. The guys over at Bitten Word made the sweet and sour glazed pork chops (maiale in agrodolce). I tried something a lot less ambitious and made Fagiloli E Tonno, white beans with tuna on top. Even though it is a pretty simple dish, it ends up being very satisfying. It is perfect for the spring / summer and makes a great lunch along with a nice hunk of bread and a piece of cheese.

It is worth you while trying to find cannellini beans if you can. The Whole Foods near me has them in the bulk section. Cook’s Illustrated tried a bunch of different dried white beans. Cannellis came out on top. You might be able to get away with substituting navy beans, but stay away from great northerns. They will not work well in a dish like this.

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I also tried a new technique for cooking the beans. You combine the dried beans with with water on the stove. As they come up to a boil, you preheat the oven to 250. Once the beans are boiling, place them in the oven for 75 minutes. It took me 15 minutes, so test and keep cooking them if they need more time. They should come out nice and tender. I have never been big on pre-soaking beans and this method doesn’t seem too much quicker than just cooking them on the stove. The advantage is that the beans seemed to stay whole and break up less because they we being more evenly heated. I am going to give this technique another try with other beans and see how it does. It is definitely worth a try.

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Fagioli E Tonno – White Bean And Tuna Salad

Rich, fleshy cannellini beans, which are grown throughout central Italy, are used in this dish.



  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 tbsp. roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 – 2 5.5-oz. cans tuna in olive oil, drained


  1. Drain beans, transfer to a 4-qt. pot, and cover with water by 3″. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until tender, 4550 minutes.
  2. Drain beans, reserving 14 cup cooking liquid. Whisk together oil, vinegar, and garlic in a bowl. Combine vinegar mixture, beans, and cooking liquid; season with salt and pepper; transfer to a bowl. Garnish with parsley and chunks of tuna.

2 thoughts on “Fagioli E Tonno – White Bean And Tuna Salad

  1. This recipe looks good, I’m going to give it a try. It reminds me of a dish a made a while ago, which actually is completely different, but is also made up of fairly basic ingredients. It’s called Peposo and I think it either originates either from Florence or Tuscany. The ingredients are just beef shin, Chinato (tuscan red wine), and garlic I think. Then you just put it all in a slow cooker for ages, maybe 8 to 12 hours until the beef has fallen apart. It’s super tasty.

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