Total Time
1hr 10mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 40 mins

The Spanish call it 'tortilla', the Italians from whom I learned it call it 'sformato' (literally 'deformed'). It's basically a mess of potatoes and onions held together with eggs. But once you try it you'll see that it's oh so much more than that! This is a very versatile dish. Cut it into small squares for appetizers, or in wedges for a main course or a side dish. Serve it hot, room temp, even cold. Cut out the bacon and it's vegetarian; add spinach or pesto for extra color and flavor. Have fun, and buon appetito!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Steam or boil whole unpeeled potatoes until not quite tender. When cool enough for handling, slice potatoes on a mandolin (or on the bladed side of a box grater), no more than 1/8 inch thick, preferably thinner.
  2. Chop bacon into matchsticks or cubes.
  3. Slice the onions and saute' with bacon and olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan.
  4. Add the potatoes when the onions and bacon are about half cooked. Blend ingredients with 1 tbsp salt, being careful not to break up the potato slices too much.
  5. Whisk the eggs with the parmigiano and pour over the potato and onion mixture.
  6. Cover and cook over very low flame for 15 minutes (or until deep golden on the bottom).
  7. Here's the only tricky part:.
  8. Uncover and turn off flame. Place a plate or platter upside-down over the pan, keeping one hand firmly on the bottom of the plate, and the other on the pan handle, as close to the pan as you can - you need a strong grip.
  9. Now, flip the plate and pan in a single, decisive motion so that the plate is now on the bottom.
  10. You should now have the golden brown bottom of the sformato on top, and the uncooked top on the bottom.
  11. Remove the pan and replace on stove.
  12. Slide the 'sformato', now a more or less cohesive unit, back into the pan so that the uncooked side is now in contact with the pan. Sprinkle browned side with black pepper.
  13. Cover and cook for 15 more minutes.
  14. Slide the finished 'sformato' onto a clean platter.
  15. Let cool for at least 30 minutes (the longer the better), slice into wedges and serve as a side dish or as a main course.
  16. Tips: Best at room temperature, and it tastes better the next day!
Most Helpful

Thank you Jedley, we loved this. It was nice to have a easy main dish that everyone enjoyed. (I did have trouble flipping it, but your directions were very helpful.)

robynhosky August 09, 2009