Tomato & Pancetta Pie…An Update to an Old Favorite!
A couple of summer’s ago, I posted a blog on Tomato Pie, a recipe that had roots from my hometown of Benton, Tennessee. The story is quite interesting so I encourage you to read how I came to learn about tomato pies from some old friends by following this link:
Since then, I have been making a lot of tomato pies, even miniature versions..here are some I made for a “Girl’s Night In” recently for a friend about to go in the oven!
Over the course of time, I have “tweaked” the recipe even more by adding in some Pancetta and replacing the onions with shallots. I love Pancetta which is basically an Italian bacon without the smoking process and shallots have a little milder flavor than onions so its a nice compliment to the tomatoes. I also mixed in my basil with my tomatoes just to avoid getting too big of a basil bite…just my preference but one that I really like. Here is my newer and most favorite version!
Tomato & Pancetta Pie
- 1 9-inch pie shell
- 1/2 cup shallots, chopped
- 1/2 cup of pancetta, chopped
- 3-4 tomatoes, roughly chopped, to yield approximately 3 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon (or more if desired) Dijon Mustard
- 1/4 cup sliced basil (about 8 leaves)*
- 2 cups grated cheese (combination of sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack, or Gruyere or Mozarella)
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon (or more to taste) of Crystal Hot Sauce (or Tabasco)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
*To slice basil, chiffonade them by stacking the leaves on top of each other, roll them up like a cigar, starting at one end slice the “cigar” crosswise in thin slices.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Follow package directions and bake the pie crust…your goal is to achieve a light golden brown color (about 12 minutes).
Squeeze as much moisture as you can out of the chopped tomatoes and place in a colander to drain in the sink. Salting helps bring out some of the moisture.
After allowing to drain for about 5 minutes, spread on paper towels remove even more moisture.
While pie crust is baking and tomatoes are draining, saute the pancetta until crisp and golden brown. Remove from pan reserving the excess fat; set aside.
Add the shallots to the pan and saute until translucent. Add the pancetta back to the pan and mix well. Remove from heat.
After removing the pie from the oven, brush Dijon Mustard on the bottom and sides of the crust.
Place your tomatoes in bowl and mix with the basil. Place tomato/basil mixture in the pie crust, spreading evenly.
In a medium bowl, mix together the grated cheese, mayonnaise, Hot Sauce or Tabasco, a sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper. The mixture should be the consistency of a gooey snow ball.
Spread the cheese mixture over the tomatoes.
Place in oven and bake until browned and bubbly, around 30-40 minutes or until you reach an internal temperature of about 150 degrees. This can also easily be made ahead, just make sure you bring it to room temperature before baking and it may need a few additional minutes of baking. (If your pie browns too much on top, before it reaches the desired temperature in the middle, just place a loose piece of foil over it.)
Garnish with additional basil and allow to sit on counter for 5 minutes before slicing…Ready to serve!