Matthew’s Tomato and Cheese Pie

Matthew Locricchio is one of the best chefs I know. We have happy memories of a few days spent with him and his husband Richard at their former weekend home in Stuyvesant in the Hudson Valley, visiting the farmers’ market, pottering around antique shops and then going home in time for Matthew to cook up a storm in the kitchen.

Matthew has written a series of award-winning cookery books for youngsters. I bought one for our niece some years ago then promptly acquired several more for myself. This recipe is from Teen Cuisine and it’s one I’ve returned to time and again. It’s a bit like a quiche, but without the pastry and cream. It’s genius – I wish I’d invented it.

Matthew's Tomato and Cheese Pie

Image of pie, sliced

Ingredients:

1/2 tbsp salted butter

2 tbsp plain dried breadcrumbs

1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

4-5 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

4-5 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces

2 large ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

4 large eggs

About 75g grated parmesan or cheddar (or a mix of the two)

1/2 tspn salt

1/4 tspn freshly ground black pepper

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4 and position a rack in the middle of the oven. Using all the butter, grease the sides and bottom of a 10-inch cake pan.

Image of buttered tin

Sprinkle the crumbs over the bottom of the pan, shaking and tilting until they cover the whole surface. Carefully tap out any excess and reserve.

Heat a heavy-based pan over a medium-low heat and add the olive oil, onion and garlic. Sauté for five or six minutes until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the parsley and tomatoes and cook for another five minutes.

Image of tomato sauce cooking

Break the eggs into a bowl and beat lightly. Add the grated cheese, basil, salt and pepper.

Turn off the heat under the tomatoes and set the cake pan next to the stove. Spoon the tomato mixture evenly across the bottom of the cake pan.

Image of the pie being assembled

Pour the beaten egg mixture over the tomatoes and sprinkle the reserved breadcrumbs over the top.

Image of pie ready for the oven

Bake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the crumbs are browned on top. Place the pie on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. To remove from the tin, run a knife around the edge to loosen it from the sides.

Image of cooked pie

Place a serving dish that is larger than the baking pan on top and using oven gloves, turn the pan and serving dish upside down. The pie should slip out onto the serving dish. If not, repeat the steps above a second time.

Cut into wedges and serve. I think it’s best eaten warm but it makes good picnic food too.

Image of pie with cookbook

21 thoughts on “Matthew’s Tomato and Cheese Pie

  1. That sounds brilliant, but I think I may wait to cook it till summer or early Autumn when tomatoes aren’t the anaemic hard acidic things they seem to be just now – well, they are in this neck of the woods, anyway.

  2. This looks wonderful. At the risk of being pedantic, what exactly does it mean by ‘dried breadcrumbs’? I tend to either whiz up some bread into what I would call ‘fresh’ breadcrumbs or I use Panko ones for a crispy coating. Do you mean breadcrumbs dried in the oven?

    • Hi Penny, I used Matthew’s wording but I think panko would be too big. I used slightly stale white bread I whizzed up into crumbs and then spread out to dry a bit more. Hope that helps. Lx

  3. That looks really nice, lovely link that you know the chef behind it. I often make something similar based on Spanish tortilla – in another link it was the first thing I taught my (now 15) twin lads to cook, as I thought it would be a good staple for them, along with spag bol and chilli and the like. I don’t use toms in mine or breadcrumbs – it relies on leftover salad spuds as the ‘filler’. Really like the sound of this though. Thanks for sharing it!

    • Glad you like the look it of, Scarlet, thanks. I love frittatas and tortillas too, but because the breadcrumbs used here crisp up, they give it an extra dimension. It really is clever, in spite of the simple ingredients.

  4. This does sound good, Linda, and reminds me of a frittata. Love how it fluffs a bit in the oven and the use of both cheddar and parmesan cheeses. It would make a good brunch dish. Whether served hot or at room temperature, I’m sure it would disappear.

    • Thanks, John. Matthew actually calls it his Tomato and Cheese Lunch Pie, so yes, great for brunch or lunch (or any time really!). It’s similar to a frittata but the breadcrumbs give it a light, crispy base and sides. It’s delicious.

  5. Thanks Mrs. P (and Matthew). This was delicious. As we toggle between vegetarian and pescatarian we are a bit protein obsessive. Ours was not as lovely as yours when it was turned out. Maybe it was using a 10″ cast iron pan due a complete absence of any kind of cake pan. Maybe it was cheesy heavy with no way to gauge 2oz (75g). Maybe it was the bit of cubed tofu added to the onion, roasted mushrooms or chill sauce but it is gone none the less. We look forward to working toward picture perfect over and over. Thanks for this and all of your posts…

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