Bean and Tomato Tart

Bean and Tomato Tart (or Desperation Dinner)

This is meal I made entirely by accident.  On coming home after work on a very cold Winter's night, I discovered we had almost no edible inhabitants in our fridge, freezer or pantry....  The rather surprising result was this concoction which I decided was rather yummy and worthy of inclusion, if for no other reason than it proves even the grimmest pantry supplies can yield up something delicious.  The dough is rather like a tortilla base, very thin and quite crispy.


1 tin crushed tomatoes

1 tin cannellini beans

1 onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic

1 tablespoon tomato paste

Handful or two of cheese (confession – in the original version of this, it was frozen mozzarella found at the back of my freezer, you can use whatever you fancy though)

Dried mixed Italian herbs



For the base:

1 cup cornmeal

1 egg

About ½ cup cold water

½ teaspoon salt


Pre-heat oven to 200°C.


To make the dough combine all ingredients and knead into a dense dough.  Spread thinly onto a well oiled tart dish or pizza tray and sprinkle over a little of the cheese.


In a saucepan, cook the onion in a little olive oil with a pinch of salt and sugar until it is very caramelised and golden.  Add the garlic, herbs, and tomato paste.  Cook down until the tomato paste is sticky and thick.

Add the tin of tomatoes, plenty of pepper and the drained cannellini beans.  Cook down to reduce the liquid, then pour directly over the tart base.  The mix should only be a thin, rich coating – not a deep pie.

Cover with the remaining cheese and a little additional cornmeal.

Cook in a very hot oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is browned and the tart base is crispy.

If you have some, serve with a salad.


Notwithstanding the original predicament, I have made this again with the addition of fresh basil and chopped capsicum, I even served it with sour cream!