Small Tomato Tarts | An Italian Delight

Small Tomato Tarts
Small Tomato Tarts

There is no greater joy than the joy of baking delicious nibbles at home. And, having Nigella Lawson’s book by your side helps you just do that.

As I unwrapped my birthday gift, I was thrilled to the core to find ‘How to be Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson’. This felt special and once again, Gurjas had managed to find the perfect gift for me.

With sheer excitement, I flipped through the delectable recipes in the book. It had everything that a pâtissier can dream of and I could really connect with the sense of comfort cooking that the recipes in the book evoked.

 Of course, it got me thinking.

You can say I am a sucker for simple and fuzz free recipes coupled with fine quality ingredients. These are two essentials I check before I pick up a recipe to try. The moment I found the recipe for Small Tomato Tarts, I knew I was in good hands. Packed with delicious Italian flavours, the recipe celebrated the delicious flavours of tomatoes and basil.

Though the recipe suggested using fresh basil, I wasn’t sure about it. Recently, I have come to realise that fresh basil, used while baking, renders a flavour, too strong for my liking. It tends to overpower everything and makes it difficult to enjoy other flavours in the dish. It’s a beautiful herb, and tastes wonderful when it’s fresh, but I prefer using it fresh, in soups, salads and dips. Hence, for the tart I decided to use Basil seasoning. Dried Basil seasoning has a subtle fresh, earthy sweetness that went very well with the tomato filling.

Happy having figured out the ingredients and recipe, I got down to making the pastry. I was excited to use cornmeal in the pastry. Also the recipe mentioned one could also use Italian Flour, however, I went ahead with all-purpose flour. Another minor change I did with the recipe was the cheese. I used mozzarella instead of Pecorino. Believe me, these changes didn’t alter the taste, as it tasted just as good. Also, the flavour of basil and tomatoes truly shone in the final product, which is what I was aiming for.

With one of the best flavour pairings in the world, this sweet, herbaceous, tangy and cheesy tart, just like Nigella said, is perfect for a dinner party.

Sharing the recipe with you here, bake this for a cold winter night.

Ingredients for the Pastry:

Flour 125 grams
Cornmeal or Polenta 60 grams
Breakfast Sugar 1 Tablespoon (TBSP)
Butter 115 grams
Vegetable Shortening 25 grams
Iced Water 40-50 ML (or enough to bind)


  • Sift flour, cornmeal and sugar and mix them well.
  • Dice the butter and vegetable shortening into small cubes and mix them with dry ingredients until the ingredients are coarsely mixed.
  • Add water to form dough, combine all the ingredients gently.
  • Wrap the dough in a cling film and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven at 200 Degree Celsius.
  • Line the dough into your baking tins and put them back into the fridge for another 15 minutes, before you put them to bake.

 Ingredients for the filling:

Chopped tomatoes pinch sugar 500 grams
Cheese (pecorino) 50 grams
Basil 15 grams
Baby Tomatoes (halved) 500 grams (approx.)
Black olives (halved)


  • The recipe said tinned tomatoes, however I used fresh tomatoes and home cooked them with a pinch of salt, pepper and sugar before adding them to the tart.
  • Once you layer your tart with tomato filling, sprinkle cheese on top, the recipe said Pecorino. However if you can’t find it easily, you can use mozzarella cheese instead.
  • Sprinkle dried basil on top of the cheese and finally add baby tomatoes (halved) and olive.
  • Cook them for 20 minutes and cook until the tarts stand a bit. Keep them on a rack before you take them out of their tins.
  • Take it out of the tins and serve it. Enjoy the sweet-salty flavours during the suppertime.



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