Sabores de España – tortilla española


Having spent one of the best years of my life living in Spain, I still love going back to the classics I learned to make whilst out there and the memories they bring back. The flavours, ‘sabores’ take me right back to the narrow streets lined with lively tapas bars with people spilling out onto the pavement. I was fortunate enough to find my Spanish soulmates in my little neighbourhood of southern Madrid, a couple of super foodies with a kitchen packed with gadgets. With them I learned about everything from classic tapas to more unusual specialties like gulas (baby eels) to northern fabada (a bean stew).

A simple and easy classic, ubiquitous in Spain is the tortilla española. Eggs, potatoes and anything else you like, it’s delicious filling and works beautifully with garlicky alioli. Here’s my recipe:

4 large potatoes
1 1/2 large onions
1 clove garlic
1 tsp paprika
6 eggs
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Whichever other filling you fancy (chorizo, red peppers, bacon, jamón…)
For the alioli:
1 cup mayonnaise
2 medium garlic cloves
Olive oil

  1. Peel the potatoes, chop into 1/2 cm slices and par boil.
  2. Finely chop the onion and garlic and fry in a medium sized frying pan.
  3. Chop your other filling (I used bacon this time but chorizo or red peppers also work really nicely), add to the pan and fry through.
  4. In a bowl mix the eggs with salt pepper and paprika.
  5. Once the potatoes are cooked but not too soft, drain and add to the frying pan covering it evenly with filling.
  6. Add the egg mix and spread evenly over the filling and fry on medium heat taking care not to burn the base.
  7. To cook evenly you may want to place the pan in the oven for around 5 mins on high heat.
  8. Once done, put place a large plate over the pan face down then carefully flip the tortilla into the plate.
  9. For the alioli you can make a mayonnaise from scratch but it is faster and easier to whip it up using ready made mayo. In a pestle and mortar grind up the garlic cloves with some coarse salt.
  10. Mix the mayonnaise with the garlic paste thoroughly. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, 3 tbsp water and mix until you have a creamy, not too thick consistency.
  11. Serve the tortilla with lashings of the alioli and a salad of your choice (I made a simple cherry tomato and basil salad simply dressed with olive oil, salt and a drizzle of red wine vinegar).

¡Buen provecho!

Memories from life in Madrid


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