Tonno e Fagioli or Tuna and White Bean Salad is an easy no cook dish that literally can be whipped up in under 5 minutes.  Ventresca, or tuna belly, packed in olive oil is best for this dish.  Do not use the tasteless water packed tuna.  Flott brand solid light tuna packaged in Sicily is very nice if you can find it, but any good olive oil packed tuna will due.

We always keep canned Northern beans and canned tuna packed in olive oil in our pantry. We also keep well supplied with onions, including a red onion. So when we are looking for a super-easy-I’m-hungry-now-and-I-don’t-want-to-spend-time-cooking meal we’re prepared. This combination, canned tuna with white beans and onions is classic, and so easy.


  • 1 cup of chopped red onions or shallots
  • The zest and juice of 1 lemon or 2 limes
  • 10-12 ounces of canned tuna packed in olive oil
  • 2 15-ounce cans of Great Northern white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup of chopped mint, parsley, or arugula
  • 1 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt and olive oil to taste


1 Sprinkle some of the lemon juice over the chopped onions while you prepare the other ingredients. This will take some of the edge off the onions.

2 Drain the oil from the tuna and put the tuna into a large bowl. Add the beans to the tuna and gently stir to combine. Add the onions, herbs, black pepper, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix to combine. Add Tabasco or chile to taste. If the salad needs more acid, add a little more lemon juice. If the salad seems a little dry, add a little bit of olive oil. Add salt to taste.

3 Chill before serving. This salad will last several days covered in the refrigerator.

Yield: Serves 4.