It would be no exaggeration to say; I think this tomato tart recipe is one of my all-time my favourites. I discovered the original recipe when I had my cookery school at Villa Catureglio in Tuscany in an old recipe book. I followed the original recipe to the letter, but over the years have adapted it with excellent results.
So, I now like to think this is so much easier to make and still has a rich, deep tomato-basil-Parmesan flavour in a crumbly, buttery pastry. What is not to like?
- I quantity of shortcrust pastry
- Tomato sauce:
- 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- A small handful of flat-leaf parsley
- A small handful basil leaves
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes
- To finish:
- 3 large eggs
- 55g Parmesan, freshly grated
- Lightly flour the work surface, then roll out the pastry large enough and line a greased 23cm x 4cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Place in the refrigerator to rest for at least an hour while you make the sauce.
- Put the oil, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley and basil into a food processor and pulse until finely minced. If your food processor is small, you can chop them a few at a time and mix. They need to look like this.
- Place the chopped vegetables and tinned tomatoes – juices and all – into a large saucepan, bring to a gentle boil, turn the heat down and cook until the vegetables are tender and broken down into the tomato; this can be a messy business if cooked too fast it will splatter everywhere, so reduce the heat if this happens, but avoid covering the pan, you want a thick reduced sauce.
- Remove the sauce from the heat, pour into a large bowl and leave to one side to cool.
- Heat the oven 190°C/375°F/Gas 5
- Cover the pastry with baking parchment and fill with baking beans or long-grain rice. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, remove the parchment and beans or rice and bake for a further 10 minutes until the crust is golden.
- Once the sauce is cold, add the eggs and beat well, finally add the Parmesan and season with a pinch of sea salt and a couple of grinds of black pepper, stir well.
- Place the cooked pastry case onto the middle shelf of the oven, carefully pour in the sauce, then bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 15 minutes before serving.
The tomato tart can be eaten warm or cold, but never serve straight from the fridge as this will deaden the flavours. Enjoy