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Tonno y Fagioli (Tuna and Beans)

Tuna and Beans – Italian style. Tonno y Fagioli is usually served as an appetizer or salad course, but sometimes I serve it for dinner. The ingredients are items you can easily keep on-hand, so Tuna and Beans is also a great recipe to serve unexpected guests, especially as it just takes a few minutes to prepare. Don’t hesitate to embellish on this basic recipe – you will often find slivered red onion and capers tossed in with the beans in Italy – or take it over-the-top by using a jar of Italian tuna. The beans and tuna are a bit blandly-colored, so jazz it up with a few tomato wedges.

DRESSING: 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, minced fine (or ½ teaspoon dried) ¼ teaspoon salt Ground black pepper, to taste 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

SALAD: 14 oz. can white beans (butter beans, cannellini or white navy beans), drained and rinsed 6 oz. can solid white albacore tuna (packed in oil or water) drained

Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to blend well. In a small bowl, pour most the dressing over the beans (reserve about one Tablespoon for the tuna). Stir gently to coat. Arrange the beans on the bottom of a serving dish, leaving a small hole in the center. Carefully turn the tuna out into the center of beans and gently break into large chunks with a fork. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the tuna. Garnish with oregano sprigs and tomato wedges, if desired.

Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as a salad.