Tuesday, 24 November 2009

How to Make Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Omelette)

A Tortilla Espanola is simply a Spanish style omelette. It is far more substantial than the French style omelette and includes in the ingredients slices of potato and onion. This version of Tortilla Espanola is my own interpretation of the techniques and I hope that you enjoy this slightly different from the conventional dish.

This recipe should be sufficient to serve two people.


4 large eggs
2 small new potatoes (whole and unpeeled)
1/2 medium sized Spanish onion (thinly sliced)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


The first step is to put the potatoes in to some boiling water and simmer them for around twenty-five to thirty minutes until cooked. Drain them well and set them aside to cool a little until they can safely be handled.

Break the eggs in to a bowl and beat thoroughly, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil to a 10", non-stick frying pan and heat gently, adding the butter to melt as the oil begins to heat up. When the butter has melted, add the sliced onions and cook gently for a few minutes until they take on that luminous sheen.

Chop the potatoes in to 1/2" cubes (skin can either be left on or discarded) and add them to the pan with the onions, stirring well to let them heat through only. Add the egg and turn the heat up to medium to high and cook for around three or four minutes until it can be seen that the egg is almost completely set.

It is normal practise at this stage to turn the Tortilla at least once to cook it on the top side but I prefer simply to place the pan under a hot grill and allow it to finish cooking in this fashion, before serving immediately. Note that I only get away with grilling at this stage as this recipe makes a fairly thin Tortilla.

In Spain, Tortilla are very often served with homemade tomato sauce. If you wish to serve it in this fashion as I have done, here is the recipe for my Spanish tomato sauce. Again, this is my interpretation of Spanish tomato sauce and is a little bit different from that generally served in SPain. (Note that it will be necessary to start preparing the tomato sauce once the potatoes have been put on to simmer.)


1 14oz can chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
Salt to taste


Put the olive oil in to a small, non-stick saucepan and gently heat. Add the garlic and stir around for a minute to cook it but not brown it. Add the tomatoes, paprika and salt and simmer as gently as possible - stirring frequently - for around thirty to forty minutes until a lush sauce is formed.

Tortillas are also often eaten cold in Spain. This can either be in the form of slices as with a pie, or even on a bread roll with perhaps a little tomato chutney or relish, as I have prepared it in the photograph above.

Whichever way you choose to eat your Tortilla Espanola, I very much hope that you enjoy this authentic taste of Spain and the Mediterranean as much as I did.

Relevant Associated Links for your Further Information

Spanish Omelette Recipe

How to make Tortilla Espanola on About.com

Tortillas as a Traditional Cuban Breakfast

Video of How to Make a Spanish Omelette

Spanish Tapas Recipes Made Easy

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