Likely the most widely served dish in Spain, the Tortilla Española is the greatest omelet ever. Picture sautéed onion, garlic, ham/bacon/sausage/insert-awesome-pork-product-here, and potatoes swirled in eggs, baked in the pan until it’s all set, then sliced in wedges.
When my mom made this I literally thought it was something she’d made up and I was grateful for her genius. I later learned it was something she picked up from members of our family who hail from and still live in Spain. In our house this was a Saturday staple where leftovers would remain out for snacking from throughout the morning and early afternoon.
To clarify, the Spanish tortilla is unrelated to the Mexican tortilla. The Mexican tortilla is a bread, the Spanish tortilla is an open-faced omelet, typically cooked in olive oil that can serve as a light snack or a full meal.
It’s an easy, one-pan dish where you sauté your ingredients until the desired doneness, swirl in the egg, cook on low, then finish in the oven. And as a tapas dish, it’s one of the most traditional.
I like to chop the potatoes fairly big, like in the Papas Bravas, so I parboil them to ensure they’re done completely then finish in the pan with the rest of the ingredients. If you don’t want to do all that, simply chop your potatoes smaller and allow for a little more cooking time.
- Three or four medium sized potatoes
- 2 tblsp olive oil
- ½ medium yellow onion
- ¼ cup Serrano ham, diced (can substitute prosciutto or bacon)
- ¼ green pepper finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup shredded cheese (manchengo, gruyere or even Colby would do well here)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Add the potatoes to boiling water.
- Whisk eggs together in bowl, set aside.
- Heat the oil in an oven-safe non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Sweat the onion, garlic and peppers in the pan, approx. two or three minutes.
- Toss in the ham and sauté together, about one minute.
- Remove the potatoes from boiling water and add to the skillet.
- Toss all together until ingredients are married.
- Simmer for about two or three more minutes.
- Mix the cheese into the whisked eggs, pour into the skillet.
- Gently stir to combine all ingredients.
- Reduce heat to low.
- When eggs thicken remove from stovetop and place skillet in oven.
- Keep an eye on it, within about 5 minutes the mixture will brown and start to puff up. That's when it's done.
- Remove from oven and slide the tortilla onto a serving platter.
- Slice in wedges and enjoy.