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Borlotti beans and anchovies with tuna

Australian Gourmet Traveller seafood recipe for borlotti beans and anchovies with tuna

By Rodney Dunn
  • Serves 4
Borlotti beans and anchovies with tuna
Borlotti beans and anchovies with tuna

You'll need to begin this recipe the day before.

Borlotti beans
Of all the beans, the borlotti is the most beautiful dried bean, beige in colour with red markings, which changes to an even brown colour when cooked. Borlotti beans are part of a group of beans originating in Central America. They are a member of the vast kidney bean family and can be substituted with any member of that family, including cannellini, flageolet, haricot and red kidney beans. The bean has a creamy texture and is good in soups, most famously in Italy's pasta e fagioli (pasta and bean soup). They are also a good accompaniment for meats like beef, lamb and chicken, or with tuna. Borlotti beans are popular in Italy, particularly in the north, where nonnas traditionally grew the plants in their window boxes so they could peer at passersby without being seen.


  • 200 gm dried borlotti beans, soaked in water overnight
  • 60 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve (¼ cup)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 1 tbsp rosemary leaves
  • 4 1.5cm thick slices yellowtail tuna (about 150gm each)
  • To serve: lemon halves


  • 1
    Drain borlotti beans, place in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium-high and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  • 2
    Heat olive oil in a large frying pan, add onion and garlic and cook over low-medium heat for 12 minutes or until caramelised, increase heat to medium-high, add anchovies and rosemary and cook for 2 minutes or until anchovies dissolve. Add beans, warm through and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • 3
    Meanwhile heat remaining oil in a large frying pan, add tuna and sauté over high heat for 2 minutes each side, season to taste and serve immediately with borlotti beans and lemons and drizzle with remaining olive oil.