Taranta chef Laura Henry makes this Spanish dish with rocoto pepper paste made from spicy Peruvian peppers, which are available at ethnic specialty markets. Use crushed red pepper instead to approximate the heat. Serves 4.
|5||ripe plum tomatoes|
|4||tablespoons olive oil|
|2||red bell peppers|
|1||teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste|
|Salt and black pepper, to taste|
|2||tablespoons capers, drained|
|4||thick tuna steaks (8 ounces each)|
2. Halve the tomatoes lengthwise and arrange them in the dish, cut sides down. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Roast the tomatoes for 1 hour, They will begin to turn dark as they lose their moisture. Let the tomatoes cool completely. Pull off the skins. Turn the oven to the broiler setting.
3. Roast the bell peppers about 8-inches from the broiling element, turning often, until they are charred all over. Remove them from the oven and transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes. Peel the peppers, discard the seeds, and let them cool.
4. In a food processor, combine the tomatoes, bell peppers, crushed red pepper, 1 tablespoon of the oil, salt, and black pepper. Pulse the processor to puree the mixture until it has a slightly chunky consistency. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the capers. Taste for seasoning and add more crushed red pepper, if you like. Cool slightly.
5. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Sear the tuna on both sides for 3 minutes on a side or until it is brown on the outside and medium in the center.
6. Arrange the tuna on dinner plates and spoon the sauce on top.
Adapted from Taranta