• Tunisian Pepper-Tomato Sauce


Tunisian Pepper-Tomato Sauce

By Andrew Zimmern

I got this recipe from a Tunisian grandmother when I was filming Bizarre Foods nearly a decade ago. It’s become a staple in my house, there’s a jar of this in my fridge at all times.

Tunisian Pepper-Tomato Sauce


  • 3 large red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups tomato puree
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2T toasted ground cumin
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons harissa
  • Juice of 1 lemon


Roast the red peppers over the direct flame on the stovetop, turning with tongs until charred all over. Once charred and blistered, place peppers in a ziploc bag and let steam for about 10 minutes; this will make it easier to remove the skin. Peel the pepper and mince. Reserve.

Place 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saute pan. Add the tomatoes, paprika and cumin. Cook the tomatoes over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, puree the roasted peppers by pulsing them in a food processor.

Add the peppers to the tomatoes.

Cook for several more minutes to cook off any water. Remove pan from heat. Stir and season with salt as needed. Add the garlic, harissa, remaining olive oil and lemon. Allow to cool slightly.

Pour into a food processor and puree.

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