Tuna & potato hot-pot: From the Basque, meaning literally ‘from the Marmita’, the marmita being a cooking pot similar to that which gives it’s name to our own Marmite, Martmitako is one of the Basque Country’s signature dishes.

The main ingredient here is bonito, white tuna, preferably caught off the northern coast of Spain (hence Bonito del Norte)  in the summer months – so if you’re holidaying with us in teh school holidays you’ll probably be in luck! The fish gets better as the summer goes on, as the fish gets fatter and juicier, but is a real treat at any time.

There are probably as many recipes as there are marmitas – the best marmitakos are said to be the ones cooked on the tuna boats before they even reach shore – but here’s ours anyway, enjoy!

  • ½ kilo potatoes (preferably floury), peeled and cubed
  • ½ kilo of bonito (white tuna), skinned and cubed
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 dried chilli
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

For tomato sauce:

  • 1 tin tomatoes, olive oil, salt
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika


Chop the onion and pepper finely and sauté in the olive oil until lightly browned. Add the chilli and the potatoes and stir for a few minutes. Cover with water, add salt and bring to the boil. Boil gently for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are nearly cooked.

Meanwhile make the tomato sauce by heating some olive oil in a pan. When hot add the tomatoes, salt and paprika. Cover with a lid and let this mixture simmer for about 10 minutes.

Ehen the potatoes are cooked add the white wine, about half of the tomato sauce and the bonito. Cover the pan and cook for about 15 minutes. Make sure you add enough water to have a thick, soupy consistency. Once cooked remove from the heat and let it rest for a while before serving with good fresh crusty bread.

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