Friday, May 09, 2008

T is for Tomato and Pancetta Tart

This is a tale of two tarts. Up until now all our tomato recipes have been smooth, the unsettling texture of the tomato removed to cause less anxiety to Freddie...But for our final tomato recipes I decided to flirt with danger and allow the tomato to flash a little flesh.
The creation above is a Tomato and Pancetta Tart. Freddie came back from school saying he was really hungry. In fact he looked at the tart with the thin slices of tomato and only saw the pancetta.There is a Latin saying, "Rabidus fame, ceu canis" as hungry as a dog. He attacked the tart like a puppy.
"So you do like tomatoes then?"
"No" muttered Freddie, ferociously biting into the tart.
"Well that's what you're eating."
He stopped mid-bite and looked down. With slightly less energy he carried on eating.
"Do you want another slice?"
"No thanks. I liked it but its not good enough to have seconds."
So I offered him the other tart - tart number two which we adapted from this recipe, adding sliced courgettes. Out of respect for the effort I had put into this meal, Freddie tried a little. Recently someone left a rather stark comment on the blog - all they wrote were five words. "Hunger is the best sauce." I could imagine the author of this comment, looking rather sternly at us. Trouble is the saying is completely right. Which is why tart number two got a pathetic four out of 10, against the first which did rather well, scoring 8.

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Tomato and Pancetta Tart

250g of Ready rolled Puff Pastry

3 ripe tomatoes, sliced thinly

6-8 slices of pancetta

A handful of chopped black olives

2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, a teaspoon of dried oregano

a drizzle of olive oil and handful of fresh basil

Roll the pastry shaping it into a rectangle. We find it is better if it is rolled quite thin. To create a raised margin around the tart, score it lightly with a knife an inch in all the way around. Place on a siloconised baking parchment paper. Place a line of thin tomato, then a line of pancetta rashes until the tart is covered, leaving your margin clear. Scatter the finely grated parmesan or parmegiano cheese evenly over the tart with the oregano. Drizzle over the olive oil, scatter the chopped black olives. Place in the preheated oven at around 200C (400F) and bake for about 20 minutes, until the pastry is risen but not burnt. Serve hot or cold to HUNGRY children.

Do you know another saying out about hunger increasing appetite? If so let us know - oh and our next stop is going to be the slightly less glamourous turnip. If you have any favourite turnip recipes you can recommend let us know!


  1. I would love a bit of that tart. It'd go so well with a glass of red, sitting out enjoying the warm weather. There is a German saying that translates as "Hunger will force it down", or what about "I'm so hungry, I could eat a scabby horse"? I don't think I could ever get that hungry though. ;)

  2. Celia8:51 AM

    Yummy looking tart - I'd give it 10/10!

    Turnips (not a veg I grow or use a lot - but Cliff who's from up north
    sometimes requests them!). I recommend them in Navarin of Lamb - one of our
    local pubs serves this and it's fantastic. There's a recipe here

    And there's a very tempting Elizabeth David recipe in French Provincial
    Cooking. Turnips boiled until tender. Drizzled with olive oil and covered
    with breadcrumbs (plus parsley & seasoning) and grilled until crispy. Now
    that does sound good!!!

    Celia :)

  3. Both of those tomato tarts look and sound good!

  4. Showing a bit of flesh - I like it! But love the tarts. Actually, far too many double entendres here.

    David x

  5. Anonymous7:42 AM

    The Dutch saying is "Hunger makes raw beans taste sweet".


  6. Anonymous1:03 PM

    I love this blog, thanks for sharing.

  7. Anonymous11:49 PM

    I, too, am not a lover of tomatoes, but the tart looks and sounds absolutely delicious. I'm anxious to try it. I'm still waiting to try the sweet potato calzone, when I can get it together enough to have all the ingredients on hand.

  8. Anon - Do try if you have time. The sweet potato calzone are well worth the effort!


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