Pa Amb Tomàquet Recipe: Quick, Simple & Delicious

Published : 03/23/2017 18:06:39
Categories : Eatapas News , Eatapas Suggestions , Recipes

Truth be told, there’s little need to detail a recipe for this intrinsically Catalan dish. It really is so easy to make. Having said this, we’ve seen plenty of recipes where chefs concoct complicated tomato sauces to drizzle on the bread. This may look and taste delicious, but it simply isn’t pa amb tomàquet. Don’t overthink or over complicate this dish. Its beauty lies in its simplicity. Here’s why you should fall in love with this glorious plate which finds its routes in the fields of Catalonia.

Pa Amb Tomàquet

 

The Origins of Pa Amb Tomàquet

The exact history of the dish is widely disputed though it’s recognised as being Catalan in origin. The issue arises with historic records. The first written documentation of the meal is said to be from 1884. Unfortunately, much of Spanish culinary history is like this. The best Spanish recipes are like fairy tales, handed down the generations. Each recipe varies slightly from family to family. We’ve known entire families to fall out over the simple variations in a much loved regional dish.

What we do know is that tomatoes weren’t introduced into the cuisine until the 15th Century, when they were brought back from the Americas. It’s believed that pa amb tomàquet was first conceived in rural Catalonia during a flourishing tomato harvest. Local tales tell of farmers using the juice of the fruit to make dry bread edible again.

 

How to Make Authentic Pa Amb Tomàquet

Pa amb tomàquet is best enjoyed on a sunny afternoon alongside a bottle of deep red Rioja. If you’re craving this delicious snack, here’s how to make authentic pa amb tomàquet:

Bread

It’s acceptable to use any bread you can get your hand on but if we’re entirely honest, the best pa amb tomàquet is made with rustic sourdough loaf. If you can get your hand on (or cook your own) pa de pages, your dish will be the best. Slice it from the middle so you can use the biggest, freshest part of the loaf. Toast it till it becomes golden brown.

Salt

Now this is a topic to destroy friendships. While you read this, a tapas bar somewhere in Barcelona is about to descend into chaos as a fierce row on the subject boils over. To add salt or not? We don’t want to divide our audience so will say only this; do whatever you think tastes best. If you are adding salt, do it before the tomatoes are used.

Tomatoes

Only use the very freshest ingredients for your pa amb tomàquet. Seriously, never skimp on the quality of tomatoes. Ideally, you should opt for tomatoes on the vine or hanging tomatoes. These varieties will allow for a fuller, more intense flavour. Cut the tomato in half, grab the skin and rub the flesh onto the bread from the edge to the centre. Discard the skin and rub with more tomato if you fancy. The bread should be gloriously moist.

Olive Oil

Never use poor quality olive oil for this. If you don’t have access to flavourful oil, leave it out. You should always use extra virgin olive oil, preferably something with an intense, fruity flavour. Drizzle the oil on for the finishing touch. Now it’s ready to serve!

 Pa Amb Tomàquet

Other Variations

So, is that it? Is it really that simple? Well, actually, yes it is. Having said this, there are plenty of variations on the dish out there. If you’re crying out for something extra, other popular recipes advise you to rub the bread with garlic, top it with Ibérico Jamón or even Boquerones. Us? We prefer to enjoy our pa amb tomàquet in its purest and most simplistic form, paired with a bottle of wine and the Catalan sun.

 

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