Preparation info

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Appears in

Old Food

Old Food

By Jill Dupleix

Published 1998

  • About

A colourful stew of tuna and peppers from the Basque region (I am told it is the country of my ancestors) between Spain and France. I depart from tradition - or at least common practice - to cook the tuna at the last moment so it remains tender and pink in the centre. It must be one of those contrary Basque separatist sort of things that’s in the blood.


  • 1 green pepper (capsicum)
  • 1 red pepper (capsicum)
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 750 g ( lb) tuna
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup white wine
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Spanish paprika


Cut peppers in half, remove seeds, and cut flesh into strips. Dunk tomatoes in a pot of simmering water for 15 seconds and peel off skin. Cut in half, squeeze out seeds, and chop remaining flesh.

Peel potatoes and chop into small cubes. Clean and dry the tuna, trim off any skin or dark red blood lines, and cut into bite-sized cubes.

Heat olive oil in frypan and cook garlic, onion and peppers, stirring, for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, potatoes, wine, salt, pepper and paprika. Cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally, and adding half a cup of water if it appears dry. Crush a few of the cooked potatoes into the sauce and stir well, to thicken it.

Add tuna and cook for 1 minute until tuna just changes colour on outside. Serve in warmed shallow soup or pasta bowls.