Titaina, the Valencian pisto from the Cabanyal neighbourhood
Sometimes called the pisto from Valencia, the titaina from Cabanyal deserves to be recognised as a unique and different recipe typical of this district of the beautiful Valencian capital. It is in this old seafaring district, whose urban layout is reminiscent of the old fishermen’s huts, that this curious recipe based on tomatoes, peppers and tuna is still prepared in the traditional way.
The most interesting thing is that in order to reliably prepare this sofrito with its intense flavour and texture, the “tonyina de sorra“, salted tuna belly typical of the area, can be used. However, due to its expensive price, tuna in oil is the best option to prepare this dish.
Ingredients for Titaina preparation
300 g of tuna in drained oil
40 g pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
2 green peppers, not too large
1 red pepper
1 kg tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and sugar
Lots of bread to spread the titaina
How to prepare the Titaina
Start by chopping the peppers into medium sized cubes and then pass them to a frying pan with a good jet of oil to cover the bottom. Bring to a medium heat and start with the recipe for this delicious titaina. Then peel and finely chop the garlic and set aside.
While the peppers are cooking, beat the tomatoes in a blender or buy canned crushed tomatoes. Once the peppers are slightly poached, after about 15 minutes, add the garlic and leave to cook for another 5 minutes.
Then add the tomatoes and leave over a medium heat for at least 40 minutes. It is important to cook the tomato well so that the titaina has a complex and deep flavour. Also add salt to taste and sugar to reduce the acidity of the tomato if necessary.
Once the tomato is well cooked and has reduced considerably, add the pine nuts and tuna. Let the whole thing cook for at least 10 minutes so that the flavours mix well and there you have it! Just rectify the seasoning after tasting it and serve it with some pine nuts on top to decorate. The titaina can be eaten with bread, it is delicious as it is. It can also be accompanied by a fried egg, used as a pasta sauce or as a base for a homemade pizza.