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Spanish Tortilla with Smoked Paprika Aioli and Fried Sage

Serves: Makes 4 to 6 servings


  • Tortilla:
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups olive oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, sliced thin
  • ½ pound Yukon gold potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick

  • Smoked Paprika (Pimentón) Aioli:
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 medium garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (pimentón)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons water, if needed

  • 8 fresh Sage leaves


The name of this dish in Spanish refers to a cake made with olive oil, eggs, onion and potatoes and is everywhere in Spain. This recipe is a classic version, but a variety of things can be added to tortilla such as chorizo or seasonal vegetables. Serve tortilla day or night, as a delicious tapa, side or main dish.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and salt, set aside.

In an 8-inch nonstick skillet with lid, combine oil, potatoes and onions. Cook on medium-low heat gently stirring the mixture occasionally for 5 to 7 minutes, or until tender. Using a fine mesh strainer or a colander over a large mixing bowl, carefully strain out the hot oil and reserve. (When cooled, transfer oil to a sturdy container so it can be utilized again in future cooking.)

Fold warm potato and onions with the whisked eggs. Using the same warm skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of reserved oil. When oil is shimmering, add the egg mixture while shaking the pan gently so that it does not stick. Gently stir the eggs a couple of times with a heat resistant silicone spatula before leaving it to form a solid cake. Cover with lid and reduce the heat to medium-low.

While the tortilla is cooking, gently slide a heat proof spatula around the edges of the tortilla a couple of times to prevent any sticking. When tortilla is 75 percent cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes, remove from heat. Slide the tortilla out of the skillet onto a dinner plate and return the skillet to the heat. Invert a second plate over the tortilla, and holding both plates together, flip. Finally, slide the tortilla back into the hot pan.

On medium heat, repeat the process of gently shaking the pan while tucking the edges of the tortilla under with a spatula. Cook tortilla about 3 to 4 minutes, or until firm, then slide it onto a cutting board. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

To prepare the aioli: Crush garlic into a paste in a medium to large sized mortar and pestle. Add the egg yolk to the garlic and stir mixture rapidly while drizzling in oil (alternatively, this process also works in a small food processor or a heavy mixing bowl with a medium soft whisk). When all the oil is combined, the aioli will be very thick. To finish, add lemon juice, salt and paprika. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and the consistency with water as needed.

To fry sage: Add two tablespoons of oil to a medium skillet over medium high heat. When oil is shimmering, add sage and gently fry until it turns dark green. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt.

To serve: Arrange sage leaves over the top of the tortilla and slice into wedges or bite sized squares. Serve aioli in a bowl on the side or with small dollop on the side of each piece.

Tested and perfected in the Sur la Table kitchen

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