Hot Tomato Pie
Tortino di Pomodori
I am full of the joys of Italy, having just returned from a trip. All regions of this wonderful country serve such simple food, using recipes that can be made for so little and depend purely on the quality of the ingredients. A friend of mine discovered this dish in the town of Orbitello on the Etruscan coast. Whilst, at one time, tomatoes that were not home-grown were a little tasteless in this country, now there are some quite rich varieties available. This dish also takes advantage of the cheese, so commonly used in Italy as a complement to any tomato dish. It is best to cook this dish in the container that it will be served in and then carry it, still sizzling, to the table. It will serve 4.
6 eggs - beaten
4 large, ripe tomatoes – peeled, seeded & chopped
1 chilli pepper - finely chopped. The long red variety are quite mild
1 clove garlic – crushed
5 fresh basil leaves, torn up
½ onion - chopped finely
salt & pepper
grated pecorino or parmesan
Cook the onion, garlic and chilli in oil over a low heat until soft.
Add the tomatoes and the basil. Cover and leave to cook until the tomatoes look slightly mushy.
Add the beaten eggs, salt & pepper to taste and leave to set.
When it is firm but still creamy on top, sprinkle pecorino cheese on top and put under a hot grill until bubbling. Serve piping hot with more basil on top
Serve the dish with crusty bread and a crispy green salad.
“…my dear abbot, twixt cakes and soups so much cheese have you my body imbued that should I continue my stay with you I Paulo cease to be and a form of cheese would I assume.”
(Attributed to the artist, Paulo Uccello when he was working on a fresco for the Abbot of San Miniato)