A traditional, lighter and colourful Spanish Tortilla de Patata or tortilla española made with onions and olive oil. Because we also eat with our eyes!
Spanish Tortilla de Patata is so popular over there they eat it at all times; breakfast, lunch or dinner, and even tapas or served as a snack called Pincho. Similar in many ways to her cousin, the frittata. This omelette version is with thicker pieces of potatoes and sometimes onions.
I’ve used those lovely Peruvian purple potatoes for this version to give this traditional dish a little colour. They taste and are cooked the same as any other potatoes. I firmly believe in ‘we eat with the eyes too; frankly, this dish needed a little kick.
The purple potatoes
Yes, purple is not a common one we see in the supermarket, except in Peru. They are smaller than usual potatoes and taste a tad sweeter. Composition-wise, they have a lower glycemic index than regular potatoes, which is good and contains more antioxidants. Frankly, its only downside is the price, but if you can afford them, go ahead next time you see them, they are succulent! Plus, they give this lovely colour to this tortilla!
There are two ways of tortilla de Patata: the Spanish and the “Guiri” way… The Spanish course is in a pan all along, so you better be good at flipping an omelette… also more oil is used… because you pre-fry the potatoes and onions before. The interior is also quite creamy, which is not for everyone.
The “Guiri” way (the way they call ex-pats) or also in Navarre (a Spain region) they use this other and lighter technique because barely any oil is used and it’s way easier because you end up cooking the tortilla in the oven (no flipping). So you decide…
There are all sorts of tortillas out there; Spaniards also love to put artichokes, mushrooms, ham, peppers even chorizo. It’s a whole world of tortillas out there! Sometimes, you’ll see a 20 cm thick gigantic version in tapas bars! This recipe contains onions, but if you are not a fan, discard them!
*Important note: do not use recently boiled potatoes to make a tortilla; they will lose water, ending in a massacre.
Other Tapas Ideas
- ALMOND & PINEAPPLE GAZPACHO
- PAN CON TOMATE – PA AMB TOMAQUET
- FRIED EGGPLANT WITH HONEY
- CALAMARI IN ITS INK CROQUETAS
Colorful Spanish Tortilla de patata
- none stick pan of 30cm or 2 small ones of 15cm
- a big plate to flip tortilla
- 6 eggs
- 250 g purple potatoes (or normal potato)
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Add olive oil to a pan about 1 cm from the bottom (depending on the size of your pan).
- Add the potatoes and cook at medium-low (no frying)for 5 minutes.
- Add the onion and cook another 20min, always on low-medium heat.
- Drain the potatoes and onion.
- In a big bowl, mix the eggs, salt and pepper.
- Add the potatoes to the eggs.
- Bring the pan to high heat with little olive oil.
- Incorporate the mix, turn rapidly but softly with a spatula, and move around the pan until the texture change to a “rice pudding” consistency.
- Add the lid and lower the heat to medium-low for 1-2 minutes.
- Put the big plate on top of the pan and flip it in.
- Slide the uncooked part back into the pan, and cover.
- Cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Cover, and let it rest for two more minutes (if you like it leaky, skip the resting time).
The oven “Guiri” way
- Cook the onion in a pan with olive oil until soft.
- Add the pre-cooked potatoes and warm them up for another 2 minutes.
- Mix the eggs, salt and pepper.
- Mix them all together.
- In a pan at medium-high heat, add the mix to the pan and turn rapidly but softly with a spatula until the consistency of a rice pudding.
- Cover and put in the oven for 12 minutes.