Seared Squid with Borlotti Beans

Theo Randall's fresh squid, fried with anchovies and chilli, are perfectly paired with a tomato and sage bean stew
By Theo Randall
Seared Squid with Borlotti Beans
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus soaking for beans
  • Effort: medium


For the beans

  • 300 g dried borlotti beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 sprigs sage
  • 1 red chilli, pricked with a knife
  • 1 clove garlic, cut into quarters
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • black pepper

For the squid

  • 6 whole fresh squid
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 3 tinned anchovies, chopped
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • black pepper

To serve

  • chopped rocket, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice


1. Drain the beans and transfer to a large pan with three times the volume of water. Add the sage, chilli, garlic and tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 1½ hours until the beans are tender. (The time may vary depending on the age of the beans).

2. Drain off three-quarters of the cooking liquor then transfer the beans and the remaining cooking liquor into a bowl. Remove and discard the sage. Remove the garlic, tomatoes and chilli and mash with a fork before returning to the beans and stirring through. Season with salt and black pepper and stir in the olive oil and vinegar.

3. For the squid, peel off the wings and outer membrane and remove the head and intestines. Cut in half lengthways and scrape out the inside with a knife. Wash thoroughly with cold water and pat dry.

4. Lay the squid pieces flat, skin-side down, and score with a sharp knife in a criss-cross pattern.

5. Season the squid with salt and freshly ground black pepper and rub a little olive oil into the skin.

6. Place a non-stick pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the squid, scored side down. Cook for one minute until golden-brown, then turn over. Add the chilli, anchovy fillets, and a splash of oil to the pan and squeeze over the lemon.

7. Remove the squid and quickly slice into bite-sized pieces. Return immediately to the pan and toss briefly.

8. To serve, place a spoonful of the borlotti bean mixture in the centre of a plate. Place a small amount of rocket salad on top and then the chopped squid.

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