Friday, 14 June 2013

Salty Sweet Sensations!

Tortine Salate di Patate Dolce, Cipolla Rossa, Formaggio Blu & Pancetta
Sweet Potato, Red Onion, Bavaria Blue & Bacon Tartlets

Summertime mans party time, friends and picnics and fun for everyone... right? Well, that's the way we would all like it! But more often than not, we get stressed out thinking about what to make, caught up in preparation and planning and somehow slightly under-pressure to get something put together that will work for everyone... I like to prepare simple things like these delicious little savory tarts that are easy to make, great for any number of occasions, cheap, cheerful and sure to both impress and please any crowd! Oh- and I also love the way that savory pastries are known as "torte salate" in Italy- which translates to "salty cakes"... I think that's kinda sweet ;-)

One simple fact, when it comes to preparing appetizers or snacks for people is that they love puff pastry- and why ever not? And I love the convenience of buying it on a roll, cutting out the immense amount of work required to make it from home- and again... why ever not? I will even go further than that and challenge any  amateur cook to make his or her own and to produce something as good as the pre-made stuff ;-) 'cause it ain't easy! And it certainly isn't quick to make either!

So, with 1 pack of puff pastry, 1/2 of a large sweet potato, 17" of a red onion, 1 egg, a few herbs, 1 handful of diced bacon and a half cake of Bavaria blue cheese (just a small handful at the most), I was able to make these 8 delectable little tartlets in just 30 minutes or so! 

To make the filling for the tarts, I pre-cooked the sweet potato, bacon and onion, by grating it, slicing the union, chopping the bacon and dry-frying it in a non-stick pan for 5-6 minutes until everything becomes slightly soft, the potatoes change color and onion turns translucent. Then into a bowl it goes for 10 minutes or so whilst you prepare the rest!

In this case, "the rest" was finely chopped rosemary and parsley and a few slices of bavaria blue cheese. As soon as the potatoes were cool, I added the herbs, salt and pepper and the cheese, which I popped into the freezer for a while beforehand, so as to make cutting a little easier (Bavaria blue is very sticky once when it comes to slicing... if it gets warm that is! I then added 1 egg, salt and pepper, plenty of nutmeg and about 1 minute of brisk stirring with a fork!

To actually bake the pastries, I used my favorite trick of starting them off in my frying pan- which went like this: I cut out circles of pastry, using a sharp-edged pastry cutter (important!) and then adding an additional strip of pastry around the outer edge for a little more height, then added a generous, full tablespoon of the filling to each one and laying them carefully into a non-stick pan... obviously with no added oil! Onto the heat they went for 2-3 minutes at a high heat, until the pastry became firm at the base and began to puff up slightly- then into a very hot oven under a very hot broiler they went for a further 2-3 minutes, to puff up and become a rich, golden brown... it was as easy as that! And don't these pictures just make you want to go out and make some? Yeah... you know they do! So go do it and have some fun! And Enjoy!


  1. Sieht toll aus. Das ist eine super Idee
    Liebe Grüße, Renate

  2. Ich freu mich sehr das es Dir gefällt liebe Renate! :-) Dankeschön! LG, Francesco