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Cuttlefish and beans in red wine with chilli and aïoli

The key to this dish is to use fresh Australian cuttlefish; the frozen imported variety doesn't have the same flavour. A salad of shaved fennel tossed in olive oil and lemon juice makes the perfect accompaniment. Start this recipe a day ahead to soak the beans.

You'll need

60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 250 gm dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight in cold water 250 ml red wine 100 gm peeled canned Italian tomatoes, crushed 100 ml chicken stock 2 fresh bay leaves 2 rosemary sprigs 1.5 kg cuttlefish, cleaned, tentacles reserved, cut into rough 2cm strips To serve: extra-virgin olive oil and dried chilli flakes   Aïoli 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 egg yolk 200 ml olive oil 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil 2 tsp lemon juice


  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 150C. Heat olive oil in a shallow casserole over medium heat, add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until onion is very tender (15-20 minutes). Add drained beans, red wine, tomato, chicken stock and herbs, and bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and braise in oven until beans are just tender (2 hours). Add cuttlefish and braise until cuttlefish and beans are very tender (25-30 minutes).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for aïoli, pound garlic and a pinch of salt to a smooth purée using a large mortar and pestle. Add yolk and stir vigorously with the pestle until creamy, gradually add oils and continue stirring until incorporated and mixture is thick and emulsified. Add lemon juice, season to taste and stir to combine.
  • 03
  • Drizzle braised cuttlefish and beans with olive oil, scatter with chilli flakes, and serve with aïoli and fennel salad.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

A round, generous nero d’Avola.

Featured in

Apr 2014

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