Marmitako - A Basque Tuna Stew

Marmitako - a Basque tuna stew

Serves 4


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, ditto
  • 400-600g/1-1½ lb diced tuna
  • approx 800g potatoes (more if you're hungry), peeled and cut to medium size*
  • 3 green peppers, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 plum tomatoes, puréed (optional*) or for more authenticity, a pimiento chorizero, which is a small sweet pepper
  • Salt & pepper
  • Parsley to garnish


  1. Gently fry the onions in the olive oil with the garlic, until golden. 
  2. *Strictly speaking, you're supposed to break the potatoes rather than cut them. Cut into the potato a small way, then twist your knife. It makes the broth thicker. See below.
  3. Mix potatoes and peppers in flameproof casserole dish and add just sufficient warm water to cover them. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes - the potatoes should be just short of cooked.
  4. Add all other ingredients, stir briefly, bring back to boil, then cover and simmer for a further five minutes.
  5. Garnish with the parsley. Serve with well-seasoned fried bread.

*We have been reliably informed that 'no true Basque' would include this ingredient in this dish. But we like this recipe.