“I want to win a week in one of your Tuscany villas“
- 3lb/4lb of ripe sun drenched pomodoro tomatoes
- 12oz Puff pastry
- 2oz fresh grated parmesan
- Finely chopped fresh thyme
- 6 oz of either mascarpone or Fresco Pecorino cheese or if you wish a soft blue for a stronger flavour!
- One large bunch pungent fresh basil (torn or chopped leaves)
- Extra Virgin Tuscan olive oil
The beauty of this tarte pomodoro is not in elegant good looks, but in its stunning simplicity.
A glorious golden afternoon by the villa’s pool calls for a rustic dish simple and easy to prepare, but cloaked in all the warmth of a Tuscan sun which emanates from the slow cooked thyme infused pomodoro.
Intense in flavour from the slow cooking ‘thyme’ , this is Tuscan cooking at its most charming and paired with a robust Chianti Classico, a crisp salato verde, sides dishes of Prosciutto and glistening plump olives, you can sit back and spend more time enjoying the views .. Bellissimo…
- Heat the oven to 200c. Take the puff pastry – roll – and make a circle approx 12 inches in diameter.
- Pop it onto a tray or large ovenproof plate and chill for 15 mins in fridge. Whilst the pastry and you are chilling, pop on some opera, uncork the chianti (just to make sure!) and start to thinly slice the lovely pomodoro. It depends how rustic or fine you would like the finished result to be but about 5mm is a good working size. You can use the ends so start to make a glistening mound of ripe red pomodoro.
- Blend the cheese with the parmesan and chopped or torn basil and spread the mixture over the chilled pastry circle. Sprinkle the finely shopped thyme over before adding the pomodoro. Leave a little gap around the edges, about an inch. Then start to layer the tomatoes from the outer edges spiralling inwards to the centre, overlapping each tomato as you go. Use the tomato ends to prop up each layer so that they dont slump whilst cooking. Put one last glorious big slice in the middle.
- Bake your pomodoro piece de resistance for approx 30 mins on 200c, then turn down the oven to about 140c and continue baking for another 35-40 mins or until it takes on a sun dried appearance. The pastry base should be crisp.
- Before serving, brush the olive oil over the surface so the pomodoro glisten and gleam in the sunshine.
- Serve with the green salad, ham and olives, and a freshly baked sunflower and honey bread.
- Sprinkle on more parmesan if you wish or some parmesan shavings. The Tarte Pomodoro can be eaten cold, but the intensity of flavours is best when served warm or straight from the oven
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