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Italian Tart with aTwist

If you are looking for a dish to take you into spring, this simple tart will do just that. It's perfect as a brunch or spot of lunch served with a peppery lambs lettus and glass of white wine. This recipe was one of my go to dishes every time we had a gathering from Jamie at Home - Italian ham and spinach tart. For the Heart Smoke & Soal twist I have added a Chilli Mop Sauce to the onions as they cook and caramelise slowly. This just adds a little sweet and spicy hint in the background when you dig into the tart.



Now this recipe will be absolutely amazing with a homemade short crust pasty, however lets face it we are all so busy in our daily lives if you purchase a shop bought pasty we will not judge at all.


Ingredients

You will need the following for the filling: (page 347 Jamie at home)

(My version will vary slightly)

olive oil or rapeseed oil

2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced

1 clove of garlic, peeled and sliced

300g spinach, washed

a few sprigs of fresh marjoram or oregano, leaves picked and chopped

sea salt and black pepper

500g creme fraiche

150g freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for grating

3 large eggs

200g cooked smoked ham, I use Parma, Serrano or Prosciutto

4/5 tbsp Chilli mop sauce (Lo & Slo)



Method
  1. Line your baking tray or flan dish with paper and place your pastry onto the tray. Trim excess off the edges of the tray, leaving a 1cm overhang. Pinch this overhanging dough up to give a little rim. This not only gives it a rustic edge but also stops the pastry from shrinking and it means theres's no need to fill the pastry case with beans or rice before baking it blind if you don't have them. Then prick the pastry all over with a fork Preheat the oven to 190 degrees, bake your pastry case in the preheated oven for 6 to 8 minutes, until lightly golden. This is called baking it blind, and it stops the pastry from going soggy when you add the filling. Once you have done this remove from the oven and set aside ready for the filling.

  2. Heat a glug of oil in a large frying pan and gently fry the onions on a low heat for 10 minutes until they're soft and sweet also adding in the chilli mop sauce, but don't let them colour too much. Turn up the heat, add the garlic, the spinach (in batches if your pan isn't big enough) and most of the oregano or marjoram. Season lightly and give it a good stir. Take the pan off the heat when the spinach has wilted - this will only take a couple of minutes.

  3. To make the filling mixture, put the creme fraiche into a bowl, stir in the Parmesan, eggs and a pinch of salt and pepper, mix together and set aside. Now spread the spinach mixture over your pastry case. Sprinkle over the ham, and spoon the mixture evenly over the top, smoothing it out with the back of the spoon.

Grate over a generous helping of Parmesan, sprinkle over the rest of the marjoram or oregano leaves and drizzle with some olive oil.

4. Bake in a preheated oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbling and the filling has set. Lovely served with a fresh salad.

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