This tart brings out all the latent flavour of even sun-starved tomatoes. And the contrast in texture between the crunchy pastry and the deep soft filling makes it quite different from a pizza. The colours are a pleasing reminder of summer. Those inclined to vegetarian cuisine can use vegetable fat for the pastry and leave out the bacon, though it does add a little crispy something.
- shortcrust pastry dough, using 250 g flour, 80 g lard or vegetable fat, ¼ tsp salt (for a method of making pastry and rolling it out, see Olive Oil, Garlic & Parsley – the book, otherwise use your own)
- 1–1.5 kg ripe tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 250 g onions
- olive oil
- 2–4 sprigs or ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 pinch of sugar (optional)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1–2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1–2 tsp harissa or ¼ tsp chilli powder or 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 3–4 rashers of streaky bacon
- black olives
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6/200°C.
Roll out the pastry dough, make a tart shell, and bake it blind (i.e., prick the pastry base with a fork and cover the whole tart mould with greaseproof paper weighted down with dried or ceramic beans) for 10 min. Set it to one side.
Skin and chop the tomatoes. Finely chop the garlic and, separately, the onion, and soften the latter slowly in a generous tablespoon of olive oil.
If the oven is not already alight from baking the pastry, put it on at this point (gas mark 6/200°C).
With a draining spoon, so as to leave as much liquid behind as possible, add the chopped tomato to the onion in the pan, followed by the thyme, sugar, if you judge the tomatoes need a flavour-enhancer, salt and pepper, and the chopped garlic. Cover, and cook down gently for 5–10 min. Stir in the tomato paste and harissa, chilli powder, or cayenne pepper, and cook another 3–4 min.
While the tomato is cooking, cut the bacon into small strips and brown in their own fat, before spreading them over the partially cooked pastry shell. Cover with the tomato mixture and arrange some olives on top.
Bake for 25–30 min in the middle of the oven. Serve hot or cold.