Saturday, August 28, 2010

Torta di Pomodoro / Tomato tart

Due to popular demand... as they say!

This is simple, very popular (when ever I make it, people always ask for the recipe!), and tasty. You really do need to make your own pastry (easy!) though.
I find it best if you make this tart the day before , and serve at room temperature (although also OK straight out of the oven). Great for a relaxed lunch in summer with friends and a glass or two of Chianti Classico, out on the deck with overhanging grape vines. Or outside a villa in Tuscany, overlooking the rolling hills.

  • 2 cups plain flour, 125 gms unsalted butter. Mix in a whizzer until it looks a bit like breadcrumbs. Add 2 eggs, one at a time, while keeping the whizzer whizzing. It's ready when it all clumps together. Tip out onto glad wrap, push together into a flat pat, cover completely with the plastic wrap, and leave it in the frig for about an hour.

The Filling:
  • Cut about 8 onions (the red ones are best), finely sliced. Add to a large saucepan, with good extra virgin olive oil (about a cup), 2 or 3 cloves garlic finely cut, and cook slowly until the onions caramelise. This might take 3/4 hour. Stir a few times. Maybe add a tablespoon of dark brown sugar, and stir till amalgamated. Let this mixture cool.
  • In another saucepan, add 1 or 2 cans of peeled tomatoes and a bottle of Italian tomato sugo. Mix and heat,. Maybe add a spoonful of tomato paste if it looks too runny. Cool.
  • Roll out the pastry and place over a 30cm serrated edged, flan case (with removable bottom). Add the caramelised onions, and spread evenly over the pastry base. Add the tomato mixture. Pick a few sprigs of rosemary from the veggie garden, and decorate the tart with rosemary, black olives (halved, with pips removed) and anchovies.
Cook in preheated oven about 200C, atound 40 minutes, or until the pastry looks tan. Yum!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

San Giovanni Firenze

June 24 is a special day for Florentines: a holiday for their patron Saint, San Giovanni. In the afternoon, huge numbers dressed in Medieval outfits, meet at Palagio di parte Guelfa for the corteo, The Parade of the Florentine Republic. Led by 2 policemen on horseback , this year at the first corner (5 meters after the start!) one of the horses pooed, so for the entire Corteo it was necessary to break ranks slightly to avoid the large yellow mound - causing some amusement and toilet humour (!) so to speak. Don't miss this marvellous event.... remember June 24, every year. It's worth a visit to Florence just for this alone. Part 2 tomorrow!