Tuna & Red Pepper Empanada

I came across this recipe in last month’s Wa’ro magazine and it looked so tasty I had to give it a try. It also gave me the opportunity to photograph it alongside this stylishly knackered old fork which I bought recently in a charity shop purely for use as a prop. Everybody’s doing it – look at the Observer Food Monthly.


Preparation time: 25 minutes plus chilling time
Cooking time: 50-55 minutes
Skill level: medium


For the pastry

  • plain flour – 350g
  • cold butter – 175g
  • water – 60g
  • 1 egg – beaten

For the filling

  • 1 onion – finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper – finely chopped
  • potatoes – peeled and diced small – 500g
  • tinned tuna – 225g
  • dry cider (or white wine) – 300ml
  • tomato purée – 2 tbsp
  • chopped parsley – 1 tbsp
  • paprika – 1 tbsp
  • thyme – 1 tsp
  • garlic – 2 cloves – crushed
  • 1 red chilli – finely chopped
  • olive oil

To make the pastry, put the flour, butter and salt in a food processor and pulse to blend. Add 4-5 tbsp of cold water to make a soft dough. Wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge for an hour or so to chill.

Meanwhile, heat some oil in a roomy frying pan, add the onions, garlic, chilli, pepper and potato and cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften – stir occasionally to stop everything sticking.

Add the cider (or wine), tomato purée, parsley, paprika and thyme. Season, cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Add a little water if the mixture looks like it is getting too dry.

Remove from the heat and stir in the tuna.

Set aside to cool.


Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5.

Butter a 25 cm pie dish or flan tin.

Roll out 2/3 of the pastry to a circle large enough to easily cover the dish. Gently pat the pastry into the corners of the dish.

Spread the filling into the case and dampen the edges of the pastry.

Roll out the remaining 1/3 of the pastry to form the lid.

Lay over the top of the pie and seal the edges by crimping with your fingers. Trim off any excess pastry.

Brush with beaten egg and prick with a fork.


Bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.

Either eat immediately or place on a wire rack to cool and eat at room temperature.

Verdict: Excellent hot or cold. The pastry is light and buttery and the filling rich and tomatoey.

Drink: A few premium priced pints at The Palm Tree.


Entertainment: Improved broadband means we can watch Charlie Brookers ‘Newswipe’ on the iPlayer.

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