Friday, 12 July 2013

Tuscan tastes

A long time ago (over a year) I stumbled across a recipe called scarpaccia. I thought it sounded interesting but never really got around to doing it, partly because I was concerned it would be too eggy (not a problem for me but my partner isn't really an egg fan to say the least) and partly because the picture didn't make it look that appetising. Fast forward to spring 2013: a handful of courgettes lurking in the fridge and a distant memory of some Italian-sounding tart. After a few searches I was reminded of the name and had a look at some scarpaccia recipes. I found this. The way the tart looked (like a pizza) and the great photographs left me with little doubt of what to do. I started cracking eggs.
Since then we have eaten scarpaccia on average once a fortnight, and can't get enough of it. My version differs ever so slightly from the above recipe, but it is the type of meal one can do whatever they want with it really.

Makes a large tart (serves at least 4)

- small courgettes, 300-350g
- eggs, 2
- roughly chopped spring onions, 3
- flour, 3 to 4 tbsp
- grated cheese (parmesan or grana padano), 40g
- finely chopped large garlic cloves, 2
- whole milk, 75ml with 50ml of water (or 125ml of semi-skimmed)
- extra virgin olive oil
- chopped parsley, tbsp

Preheat an oven to 220 degrees.Thinly slice the courgettes then place in layers in a colander or sieve, with a sprinkling of salt between each layer, and set aside for twenty minutes. Rinse under running water and dry with a tea towel/ kitchen paper.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl and mix in the flour. Add the milk and mix to make a thin batter, then add the courgettes, spring onions, garlic, parsley and grated cheese. Finish with a generous grinding of black pepper.
Line a large ovenproof pan with a tbsp of oil (the pan I use is 26cm) and pour in the batter mix, spreading it around so it looks even. Drizzle over the extra virgin olive oil and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden. Allow to cool for 5 five minutes before serving - this dish really needs that time for the flavours to be at their best.

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