This Italian Tomato pie recipe features tangy tomatoes and a cheesy creamy filling wrapped in a flaky buttery crust. This modern Italian dish is perfect to serve for a meatless dinner.
Italian tomato pie is a savory pie that typically consists of a flaky pie crust, a layer of tomato slices, and a flavorful creamy filling. This delicious dish is known in Italy as crostata di pomodori and is often enjoyed as an antipasto (appetizer).
I made the crust for this pie using a similar dough to my pasta frolla recipe with the addition of salt and fresh herbs. The result is a delicious, savory crust with lots of Italian classic flavors like basil and oregano.
Whether served hot or cold, Italian tomato pie is a delicious and satisfying meal that is perfect for any occasion.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Impressive presentation: This Italian tomato pie is visually appealing and anyone will want to have a piece of it. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just cooking for your family, this dish is sure to be a hit.
- It’s easy to make: While the idea of making a pie from scratch might seem daunting, this tomato pie is actually quite easy to put together. With staple ingredients and a few easy steps to follow, in no time you will have your own homemade Italian tomato pie.
- It’s a great way to use up summer tomatoes: If you have a bounty of ripe tomatoes in your garden or at the farmers’ market, making this Italian tomato pie is a delicious way to use them up. It’s an absolute dish for when tomatoes are at their peak.
- Tomatoes: You can use regular tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, It’s best to use ripe tomatoes for the best flavor and texture.
- Onions: the sweetness of sauteed onions will balance the tangy taste of the tomatoes in this pie. You can use yellow or red onions.
- Olive oil: If you don’t have extra virgin olive oil you can use any type of healthy oil like avocado oil or canola oil.
- Flour: All-purpose flour will work for this crust, ensure to sift your flour to eliminate any lumps.
- Butter: This contributes to the flakiness of the pie crust. As it bakes the butter melts and creates pockets of steam which help to separate the layers of the dough and create a flaky texture.
- Water: You will need a small amount of water to help combine the dough because it will come out of the food processor a bit crumbly.
- Fresh herbs: You will need fresh basil and chives to make the dough, substitute with dried herbs if you prefer.
- Eggs: Separate the yolk from the egg whites and reserve it for the cheesy sauce. Here you will only use the yolk.
- Salt to taste
For the cheesy cream sauce
- Cheese: You can combine different types of graded cheese such as cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan.
- Cream: This gives the sauce a creamy and smooth texture and a great combination with melted cheese.
- Milk: Regular milk will bring our sauce to a nice consistency and not thick or tough sauce
- Egg whites use the egg whites you reserved from the crust dough.
- Herbs: Use fresh herbs like basil, oregano, and chives.
How To Make Italian Tomato Pie
Sift the flour, and place it on a working surface. Add one egg, yolk, butter, salt, cold water, basil, and chives. Work with a spatula and your fingertips to achieve a crumby dough.
Note: You can also do this step using a food processor, make sure you don’t overmix, a few pulses would be enough.
Knead to combine into a compact dough. Make a ball, wrap it with cling film and place it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Grease a pie pan with butter. You can use a rectangular 36x12cm (15×5″) or a round one of 23-25cm (9-10″).
Remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a floured working surface. Roll it into a sheet large enough to line your pie pan.
Arrange the dough on the pie pan using your fingers to stick it well, then trim the excess dough.
Top Tip: Pinch the dough with a fork to prevent it from forming steam pockets during baking.
Line the pie with parchment paper and fill it with ceramic pie weights. You can also use uncooked beans or rice.
Bake for 10 minutes at 375F/190°C, remove the weights and bake again for another 10 minutes. Remove the baked crust from the oven.
In a small pan heat up 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil. Add onions and sauté over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until onions are tender and translucent. Set aside.
Crack the egg in a medium bowl. Add the white egg, cream, milk, and chopped herbs. Season with salt and pepper and whisk until combined. Mix in cheese.
Cut tomatoes, if they’re cherry you can just cut them in halves, if they’re regular tomatoes, slice them.
Pat them dry with a paper towel or kitchen cloth to get rid of any moisture which might make your pie soggy
Place onions on the bottom of the baked crust. Pour half of the cream mixture, then distribute the tomatoes all over. Add the remaining cream and egg mixture.
bake at 375F/190°C for about 13-15 minutes or until you see the tomatoes are lightly roasted and the cream is nicely set.
Let the Italian tomato pie cool to room temperature before slicing and serving.
- You can use any type of tomato, just make sure to cut them accordingly to fit your pan.
- You can also use store-bought pie crust. Or even make it a gluten-free, egg-free, vegan pie crust, etc. Just pay attention to the cooking times since they may vary from crust to crust.
Store & Reheat
This Italian tomato pie will stay in the fridge for 3 to 4 days, follow the below instructions to store for a longer period.
- Let the tomato pie cool down to room temperature before storing it.
- Cut it into portions that are easy to reheat or serve later.
- Wrap each portion of the tomato pie tightly with plastic wrap and then with aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.
- Label the wrapped tomato pie with the date and contents.
- Store the wrapped portions in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
- When you’re ready to eat it, thaw the frozen tomato pie in the fridge overnight, and then reheat it in the oven or microwave
What is the difference between pizza and tomato pie?
Pizza is made with a round flattened dough base topped with tomato sauce, cheese, and other various toppings. While an Italian tomato pie is baked in a deep baking dish with a thicker high crust than that of a pizza.
What makes my pie come out soggy?
Tomatoes have lots of juices so you will need to nicely pat dry them before using them in this recipe. Also, make sure you don’t overload the toppings.
More Italian Tomato Recipes
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Italian Tomato Pie (crostata di pomodori)
- 1 Rectangular pie dish about 36x12cm (15×5") or or a round one of 23-25cm (9-10").
- 2 medium tomatoes (sliced)
- 6 cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
- 1 small red onion
- ⅓ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (or any melty cheese you prefer)
- 1 medium egg (+ 1 egg white)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup whole milk
- olive oil
- 2 tsp chives (finely chopped)
- salt & pepper (to taste)
For the crust
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ⅔ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp chives (finely chopped)
- ½ Tbsp basil (finely chopped)
- ½ tsp fresh oregano (finely chopped)
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- Sift the flour, and place it on a working surface. Add the yolk, butter, salt, cold water, basil, and chives.
- Work with a spatula and your fingertips to achieve a crumby dough (you can also use a food processor).
- Quickly knead to form a dough. Make a compact ball, wrap it with cling film, and place it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and place it in a floured working surface. Roll it into a sheet large enough to line your pie pan.
- Arrange the dough on a greased pie pan using your fingers to stick it well, then trim the excess of dough.
- Pinch the dough with a fork to prevent it from forming bubbles during baking.
- Line the pie with parchment paper and fill it with ceramic pie weights. You can also use uncooked beans or rice.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 375F/190°C, remove the weights and bake again for another 10 minutes. Remove the baked crust from the oven.
- In a small pan heat up 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil. Add onions and sauté over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until onions are tender and translucent. Set aside.
- Crack the egg in a medium bowl. Add the white egg, cream, milk, and chopped herbs. Season with salt and pepper and whisk until combined. Mix in cheese.
- Place onions on the bottom of the baked crust. Pour half of the cream mixture.
- Pat dry the tomatoes with a paper towel to get rid of any moisture which might make your pie soggy and arrange them over the onions and cream mixture.
- Top with the remaining cream mixture and bake at 375F/190°C for about 13-15 minutes or until you see the tomatoes are lightly roasted and the cream is nicely set.
- Let the pie cool to room temperature before slicing and serving.
- This crostata di pomodoro (as known in Italian) lasts up to 3-4 days in the fridge stored in an airtight container.
- It also freezes wonderfully nicely wrapped in cling film and foil for up to 3 months.
Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.