Tortilla de Patata (Spanish Potato Omelet)

There are so many versions of this emblematic tapa that can be found all over Spain. I know, because I eat my own weight in them, wherever I go! Every region and household has their own special way of preparing this dish and it can get quite controversial as to which is the true, authentic Tortilla de Patata in Spain. This is my favorite make-at-home version adapted from many different recipes over the years. Some recipes don't call for onions but I love the sweetness and depth of flavor that caramelized onions give to the dish. It's a stunning but simple combination of flavors and textures. If you have any left over, this tortilla is also fantastic sliced into thin slices and stuffed into a fresh baguette with alioli, a homemade garlic mayonnaise , and some mild, small green peppers, either fried in olive oil, or roasted and peeled and sprinkled with some fine flaked sea salt.

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 5 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 55 min
 
YIELD: 6 servings
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil (preferably Spanish, Arbequina olive oil variety)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 3/4 pounds potatoes, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 8 eggs
  • Baguette slices, for serving
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Directions

Heat the olive oil to medium-high heat in a 12-inch cast-iron or nonstick skillet. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the potato slices, season with salt and cook over low and slow heat until the potatoes are softened and lightly golden brown around the edges, 30 to 40 minutes, gently shaking the pan from time to time to prevent the potato slices from sticking. When the potatoes are ready, reserve 2 tablespoons of the olive oil from the skillet (now infused with the flavor of those onions and potatoes) and drain the potatoes in a colander or on a paper towel.

Beat the eggs with a generous pinch of salt in a large bowl for about 1 minute. Add the drained caramelized potatoes and onions and stir with a fork to lightly break up the potatoes (this will give the finished Tortilla de Patata a wonderful light fluffy texture). Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of the reserved olive oil in the same skillet until very hot. Pour in the egg and potato mixture and cook on one side, gently shaking the pan occasionally, until the underside is set and very lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Using a plate to cover the pan, carefully invert the omelet onto the plate and then gently slide the omelet back into the pan to cook on the other side until just set and light golden brown, about 5 minutes more. Do not overcook. This Tortilla de Patata is best when barely runny in the very center. Serve immediately with some slices of fresh baguette, or make ahead to serve later in the day at room temperature. Enjoy!

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  • on November 13, 2013

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    My roommates boyfriend in Sevilla would not add onions, but he would fry a green pepper in the olive oil he would eventually use to cook the batter, just to give it a touch of flavour. I would also garnich it with curly leaf parsley. At the end of the day though, a classic tortilla de patatas with onions and potatoes is the way to go, although I do enjoy adding chorizo, jamón, tomatoes, basil, peppers or cheese on occasion to "fancy" it up.

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  • on August 25, 2011

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    This tortilla was wonderful, but after my trip to Madrid and Barcelona I learned that adding jamon Iberico or chorizo colorado makes this thing spectacular!!!!!!!

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  • on August 15, 2011

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    This is the exact recipe I've used for years, and it is fabulous. I would just add that I use red potatoes. It is double-fabulous!!!!
    You may want to add some Spanish chorizo, or some crispy-fried jamon iberico (or prosciutto in a pinch!!!

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