This Tortilla Española with Roasted Red Pepper Goat Cheese Sauce is one of my favorite Spanish tapas I’ve been meaning to recreate for years. It’s basically the Spanish version of a frittata, but it’s layered with thinly sliced potatoes and served at room temperature. Perfect for entertaining, a tapas night at home or a casual brunch!
I have a list of about dozen dishes from various restaurants I’ve been to over the years that I’ve instantaneously fallen in love with and subsequently vowed to recreate at home as soon as possible. Some of them, I managed to re-create shortly thereafter (like this feta with phyllo, these crispy beef tacos , or this lobster spaghetti) but a lot of them have just been waiting in purgatory for what seems like an eternity simply because I’ve been too afraid I’ll screw it up – this tortilla española is one of those.
I’ve been in love with this classic Spanish dish since I visited my first tapas restaurant here in Kansas City almost two decades ago. They have an amazing happy hour where a handful of their tapas are half off, and the tortilla española is something I get every single time.
Basically a tortilla española is the Spanish version of a frittata, but instead of a base of only whipped eggs, layers of thinly sliced or diced potatoes are nestled into a skillet, covered in eggs and baked. Another interesting differentiation from a classic frittata is it’s served cold, which isn’t normally something I’d find appealing, but in this case, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Unlike an American omelet or frittata where we feel the need to stuff the interior full of ingredients, this version doesn’t typically have a filling or cheesy center – it’s just potatoes, eggs and a little bit of salt. In lieu of a filling, what I’ve found is it’s usually served with some sort of creamy sauce, which in La Bodega’s case is a smoky aioli, and in today’s case, it’s a creamy roasted red pepper and goat cheese sauce.
For me, potatoes + eggs + goat cheese + roasted red peppers, is just a combination that goes together flawlessly, and I have to say, it rivals the version I fell in love with to begin with.
Most of the recipes I came across, called to slowly cook the potatoes in an obscene amount of olive oil so they don’t brown, but I thought if I could sauté the potatoes instead, it would add an extra layer of flavor without straying too far from the classic recipe. If you want get super precise, you can use a mandolin to evenly slice the potatoes, but I found once they get in there, it doesn’t really make a difference.
Along with the potatoes, I made sure to throw in plenty of sliced onion and just a little bit of garlic, and then cooked them all together until the onions were softened and the potatoes were mostly cooked through and slightly golden brown.
Once they get to that point, they’re gently re-arranged in the bottom of the pan, the eggs are poured over and the whole thing is popped in the oven until it’s puffed and golden brown.
After baking, I let it rest for a few minutes and then invert it on to a platter to finish cooling. Again, this is supposed to be served cold or a room temperature, but if you want to dig in right away, go for it.
- 2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 medium onion, sliced
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 8 eggs
- 12 oz jar roasted red peppers, drained
- 5 oz softened goat cheese
- 1/4 cup finely chopped chives
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Add oil and butter to a 9-inch cast-iron skillet. Turn the heat on medium and when the butte melts, add potatoes, onions and salt. Saute potatoes and onions for 7-8 minutes, stirring often until slightly softened. Cover with a lid and let the vegetables steam for 4-5 minutes. Take the lid off and stir, keep doing this until the potatoes are fork-tender, another 3-4 minutes.
While the potatoes continue to cook, add eggs to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Season with a pinch of salt.
Once the potatoes are cooked, gently rearrange them in the pan so they are flush and layered in the pan. Pour the eggs on top and use a spatula to gently let the eggs nestle into the eggs. Continue to cook as you would a frittata by tilting the pan and using your spatula to let the uncooked egg fall behind the cooked egg. Once the eggs are starting to set after 1-2 minutes, put the pan in oven. Bake until golden brown and puffed, about 20 minutes.
While the eggs cook, add red peppers and goat cheese to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Let tortilla cool for 15-20 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm, at room temperature or cold. Spoon sauce on top and garnish with chopped chives.