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.
- 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
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 egg yolk
- 200 ml olive oil
- 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1Preheat 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).
- 2Meanwhile, 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.
- 3Drizzle braised cuttlefish and beans with olive oil, scatter with chilli flakes, and serve with aïoli and fennel salad.
Drink Suggestion: A round, generous nero d’Avola. Drink suggestion by Max Allen