Italian tuna stew with polenta
A rustic Italian tuna and tomato stew served over a bed of soft polenta (Italian cornmeal).

For the stew
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion—finely chopped
1 carrot—finely chopped
1 stalk celery—finely chopped
3 cloves garlic—finely chopped
½ teaspoon dried sage
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
½ cup white wine
14 oz (420g) can peeled tomatoes—chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 oz (300g) fresh tuna—cut into bite-sized pieces (or use good-quality canned tuna)

½ cup frozen peas—thawed


For the polenta

4 cups boiling water
1 cup instant polenta
½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


HEAT 2 tablespoons of the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and cook the onion for 3 minutes. ADD the carrot and celery and cook for a further 6 minutes. ADD the garlic, sage and rosemary and cook for 3 minutes. ADD the wine, tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper, bring to the boil, then cover with a lid, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 12 minutes. ADD the tuna and peas to the stew and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. WHILE the stew cooks, place the boiling water and salt in a saucepan and return to the boil. SLOWLY pour in the polenta in a stream and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, for around 3 minutes, until thickened, then stir in the olive oil. REMOVE from the heat and cover with a lid to keep warm. GENTLY stir the reserved tablespoon of olive oil into the stew and spoon over a bed of polenta. SERVE at once (the polenta will thicken on standing).

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