Seared tuna with puttanesca sauce and garlic breadcrumbs

Merrilees Parker serves this meaty fish with a full-flavoured Campanian sauce made from tomatoes, chillies and olives, with an extra twist of artichokes
By Merrilees Parker
Seared tuna with puttanesca sauce and garlic breadcrumbs
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the tuna

  • 4 tuna steaks, each 140g

For the sauce

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 4 tinned anchovies
  • 150 g baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • 75 g black Kalamata olives, in olive oil stoned (from a jar, not a tin or brined)
  • 100 g grilled artichokes, (from a jar, not a tin or brined
  • 1 handful leaves basil

For the garlic breadcrumbs

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely sliced
  • 100 g breadcrumbs
  • sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon zest, only
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley


1. For the tuna: heat the light olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan to smoking hot. Season the tuna with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then fry for 1-2 minutes on each side (for rare), or until cooked to your liking. Remove from the pan and allow to rest on a warm plate.

2. For the sauce: in a separate pan heat the extra virgin olive oil, add the chilli flakes and anchovy fillets and fry for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until softened, then add the olives and artichokes and cook for a further minute to heat through. Season with a little salt (remember the anchovies are salty) and plenty of freshly ground black pepper, then stir in the basil.

3. For the garlic breadcrumbs: add the extra virgin olive oil to the pan used to cook the tuna, along with the garlic. Cook for a few seconds, then add the breadcrumbs and season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are beginning to become crisp, then stir in the lemon zest and parsley.

4. To serve, spoon the sauce onto the centre of four serving plates, place a tuna steak on top of each and finish with a sprinkling of the crispy breadcrumbs.

Rate This Recipe