A highly successful dinner-party starter — not the cheapest of dishes, but quite easy to do and very tasty. You can prepare everything in advance, and then the shells only need 20 minutes in the oven. Serves 6.
You may be dubious about raw fish, but I can assure you that this tastes superb and is a very elegant and original starter (if you can get hold of the fresh tuna of course). It’s very rich — you only need small helpings.
I must confess I am not fond of cassoulet as it is served in the Aude — too stodgy and grease-laden — but this is something else entirely, lighter and much more digestible.
Mounjettes is the name given to dried haricot beans. They do need to be good quality for this dish, and preferably the new season’s harvest. The dish is much more liquid than cassoulet de Castelnaudary, and it’s traditional to serve the sauce first as a soup, with bread broken into it, followed by the beans and meat. We also had a lovely green salad with this, freshly plucked from the garden.