I made this Ricotta Tomato Tart using homemade ricotta cheese I made with a recipe from Rosetta Costantino‘s book My Calabria. The puff pastry was also homemade. That came from a recipe by Rosemary Malloy at her site An Italian in My Kitchen.
Just like gazpacho, this tart celebrates the best of the summer season with fresh heirloom tomatoes. Be sure to pick a variety of sizes and colors to make the most of the visual appeal of the finished tart.
While it was very personally satisfying to make it all by scratch, I recognize that is a bit much for most. It becomes much more of a project that way. The good news, however, is that can still have a delicious tart with seasonal heirloom tomatoes plus some store bought “shortcuts”. Use a store bought crust, and some store bought ricotta and you’re in the game.
Tomatoes can be very juicy (the should be in summer in fact!). But if you ar not a bit careful, that can lead to puddles at the top of your tart. The way that I addressed that was to briefly ‘dry’ the tomatoes first. After I cut them into slices, I laid them out on paper towels on the kitchen counter. Let them sit for five or six minutes then turn over. Another two or three minutes, and they can go in the ricotta tomato tart. Lay them out just before you begin putting the crust in the tart pan. That way, by time you are done and have filled it with ricotta, the tomatoes will be ready to go.
While the tomatoes drain, roll your crust out to fit your pan. It is not necessary to ‘blind bake’ the tart crust. Just go ahead and fill with ricotta. Try to get the ricotta spread to an even layer. Then begin placing your tomatoes on top in a visually pleasing manner.
Ricotta Tomato Tart
- 1 package pre-made puff pastry thawed if frozen
- 3 – 4 heirloom tomatoes of different varieties & size
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup about 3 oz grated pecorino romano cheese (or parmesean)
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 1/2 tsp salt + more to salt tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 egg
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Fresh Rosemary & Parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400F/205C
- Lightly grease tart pan with cooking spray
- Place puff pastry in tart pan. Gently arrange the pastry around the sides
- Place in refrigerator to chill while you prepare filling
- Slice tomatoes for tart. Lay slices on paper towels & sprinkle with kosher salt. (This helps draw off some of the excess liquid)
- Combine ricotta, pecorino, garlic, salt, oregano, basil & egg in mixing bowl. Whisk together until smooth
- Flip tomatoes over & season with salt & pepper to taste
- Remove chilled tart shell from refrigerator
- Gently spoon ricotta mixture into shell & spread evenly
- Arrange tomato slices atop ricotta in an “artful” manner (You probably won’t use all the tomatoes. Use the leftover for a nice salad to accompany tart)
- Place in the middle of the preheated oven and bake for 35 – 40 minutes, until edges are browned & there is no pooled liquid atop the tart
- Remove from oven and top with parsley & rosemary garnish
- Let rest for 15 minutes before cutting so cheese can “set”