Ortegas Tuna Belly Basque Style from The Book of Tapas, Holiday Recipes

8 days ago I offered the Spanish Tortilla recipe as a good pick for a holiday brunch, here's a second selection from The Book of Tapas (Phaidon Press) that will add to many end of the year parties, large or intimate.

Basque-Style Tuna Belly Fillets

Ventresca de atún a la vasca

Serves 8


4 tablespoons olive oil

11 oz onions, sliced

5 oz long, thin green bell peppers, seeded and chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 slices good Serrano ham, cut into thin strips

1 lb 2 oz tuna belly fillets


1 fresh red chile, seeded and thinly sliced

Balsamic vinegar, to serve

Chives, finely snipped, to serve



Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan. Add the onions and pan-fry over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until beginning to brown. Add the green bell peppers and pan-fry stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and a little salt and cook for 5 minutes. Add the ham strips at the end so they do not cook.

Heat the remaining oil in a skillet or frying pan. Season the tuna pieces lightly with salt and pepper, add to the pan and fry over high heat, turning several times, until they are pink in the center, or done to your liking. To serve, put the chile in the center of a warm serving dish, then drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with the chives. Spoon the onion mixture over the top with the tuna fillets. It is important to cook the tuna at the last minute.

(* Recipe reproduced from 'The Book of Tapas' by Simone & Ines Ortega courtesy of Phaidon Press)

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