Key Component, The Oil
Yes, the key component for this recipe is the oil. Used both for the filling and the dough. How? This recipe will use quite a lot of oil when cooking the filling because after that we will drain the excess oil from the cooked filling, and then use it in our dough. Sounds flavourful, don't you think?
To make it even more flavourful, I used the oil that came in the canned tuna. That oil is already packed with tuna flavour. So what I did was, drain the tuna and then measure the oil that I needed. Some of the tuna juice will be mixed with the drained oil but no problem. More flavour!
The Sofrito And The Filling
Here in Spain the vegetable base in a recipe is always referred to as el sofrito or stir-fry if you translate it. In this recipe I refer it as the base for the filling. The base was very simple, believe it or not.
I simply cooked cubed onion, red bell pepper, green Italian pepper, garlic and some salt in the tuna oil. I used quite a lot of onion because this will help make the filling juicy.
I cooked them on medium heat, stirring now and then. It took me around 30 minutes to get to that point (as shown in the picture).
After the base was done, I added some spices. Sweet paprika, spicy paprika and black pepper. I cooked them for 30 seconds just so that the powdery taste was gone.
Then I added the canned crushed tomato and some sugar. Both paprikas and the tomato, apart from giving flavours, will also give color to the filling and the oil (which we will use later). I cooked the mixture for another 10 minutes.
Then I turned the heat off and added the previously drained tuna. I gently mix everything together because I didn't want the tuna to get all broken and mushy.
While still hot, I pour the filling into a sifter with a bowl underneath. This is to drain the oil from the filling. I let the filling drain just for a few minutes because I didn't want the filling to get dry. After that I put the filling in a container and let it cool completely while I proceeded with the dough.
As you can see in the picture, there was quite a lot of oil that I drained. As I mentioned earlier, that's why we needed to start this recipe by using quite a lot of oil. Now we will measure that flavourful and vibrant color drained oil for our dough. Discard the balance.
I used my pizza dough recipe with some adjustment and my stand mixer to make things easier.
I adjust the amount of oil, I used oil and of course, reduced the amount of water. I wanted the oil to give color to the dough and you can see it in the picture. I also reduced the amount of salt as the oil was already salty with all the cooking earlier.
I let the dough rise to double size in a warm and draft free place. It looked beautiful!
For this pie, I used a 10.5" x 15.5" (27 x 39 cm) baking tray. I greased it with some oil first.
I took half of the dough and rolled it into a rectangle more or less the size of the pan that I was going to use. I rolled it bigger to consider the depth of the pan where we will be putting the filling.
The dough will be thin, don't worry about that because that's how it's supposed to be. It should not be thick.
I adjusted the dough to fit nicely the pan with the dough overhang a bit to the sides.
Then I spooned in the cooled tuna filling on the dough and spread it evenly. I love it when I can see chunks of tuna in the filling. Not just a mashed version of it.
Then I took the other half of the dough and rolled it out, the same like I did before. I placed it on top of the filling and cut out the excess dough. I kept the excess dough aside as I wanted to use it for a simple decoration later. I pinched the seams together all around. Simple, don't you think?
I made some simple decorations with the excess dough and then painted the top surface with egg wash. Then using a fork, I poked some holes all over the top surface. This will help to release the steam while baking.
I baked the tuna pie at 400ºF (200ºC) preheated oven for 20-30 minutes. It didn't take long as the filling was already cooked. I just wanted to bake the dough and look for that beautiful golden color, as you can see in the picture.
That's it for the Spanish tuna pie recipe. Not difficult at all. It did take a bit of time as I couldn't prepare the filling and the dough simultaneously.
So if you feel like trying this recipe, you can prepare the filling one day ahead, save the filling oil. The next day you just prepare the dough. Happy trying!
More Spanish Recipes
Spanish Tuna Pie
- 1 ⅓ cup oil (325 ml), drained from canned tuna or add/use any oil
- 1 lb onion (500 gr), cut into cubes
- 1 red bell pepper , cut into cubes
- 2 Italian green pepper , cut into cubes
- 5 garlic cloves , chopped
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Black pepper
- 14 oz canned passata/crushed tomato (400 gr)
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1.3 lb drained tuna from can (600 g)
- 3 ½ cup bread flour (455 g)
- ⅓ cup oil plus 1 tablespoon more (100 ml), drained from the filling
- 1 cup warm water (250 ml)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 ¼ teaspoon dry yeast (7 gr)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In a pan using medium heat, add in the oil. When the oil is hot, add in the rest of the ingredients and cook for 30 minutes or until they're soft. Stir now and then.
- Add in both of the paprika and black pepper. Stir and continue cooking for 30 seconds so that the powdery taste is gone. Add in crushed tomato, sugar. Stir everything together and cook for another 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning if needed.
- Turn the heat off. Add in drained tuna and mix everything together. Don't over mix to avoid the tuna get all broken and mushy.
- While still hot, pour the filling into a sifter with a bowl underneath. Drain for a few minutes, we want to use the oil for our dough. Don't let the filling draining too long to avoid it getting dry. Pour the filling into a container and leave it to cool completely. Save the oil for later use.
- In a bowl, add in warm water, sugar and yeast. Stir and leave it to get foamy around 3-5 minutes.
- In a stand mixing bowl, add in all the dough ingredients including the previously prepared yeast mixture. Mix to incorporate and then knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Form dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover tightly with cling film and leave the dough to rise into double in size in a warm and draft free place.
- For this recipe I'm using a 10.5" x 15.5" (27x39 cm) baking tray and I brushed it with some oil. Once the dough is ready, divide it into 2. Take a half of the dough and roll it thin to the size of the pan, slightly bigger. This is to consider the depth of the pan and for the filling. Place the rolled dough in the pan.
- Spoon in the filling evenly. Roll out the other half of the dough and place it on top of the filling. Cut any excess dough. Pinch the seams together. Using the cut out excess dough, make some decorations (if you want). Brush the top surface with egg wash. Using a fork, pinch some holes all over. This will help to release the steam while baking.
- Bake at 400ºF (200ºC) preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and the dough is cooked through. Enjoy!