6 tablespoons olive oil
4 grlic cloves, thickly sliced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fennel leaves
1 fennel bulb, chopped
2 (15-ounce) cans lima beans, drained
Tuna:1/4 cup coarsley ground black pepper
1/4 cup Italian Bread Crumbs (see page 218)
4 (6-ounce) tuna steaks, cut 3/4 inch thick
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 sprigs fennel leaves for decoration
Il Tonno Di San Vito
For the Lemony Limas:
Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and the garlic in a medium saute pan set over medium-high heat until the garlic is sizzling, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and red pepper flakes and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the onion is soft and the garlic is beginning to brown. Remove from the heat. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in 3 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil, the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, parsley, fennel leaves, chopped fennel and lima beans. Cover and marinate for at least 2 hours or refrigerate overnight.
For the Tuna:
Mix the coarsley ground black pepper and bread crumbs in a medium bowl. Coat the tuna steaks on all sides with the pepper/bread crumbs mixture.
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan set on medium-high heat until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Put the tuna steacks in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side for medium-well steaks. The edges of the steaks should be nicely browned.
Place the beans on a large seving plate and lay the tuna steaks over them. Garnish with a sprig of fennel leaves.
If you don't have apper mill that will give you coarsely ground black pepper, there are a couple of different ways to do it. The simplest is to use a mortar and pestle. Another method is to put a small amount of peppercorns on a cutting board, place a flat-bottomed frying pan or saucepan on top and press down until the peppercorns crack. Repeat this process until you have the amount needed.