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  1. This recipe is based on one from the Piedmont region of Italy. It is a traditional Italian marriage of basil with tomatoes. The eminent food writer Jane Grigson had a fine contempt for too much concern about cholesterol, so Raw Materials has substituted olive oil and less of it for the butter in the original recipe. If you share her feelings, go for the butter.

  2. Slice 1 kg of tomatoes into half-centimetre rounds. Season them with a little salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar and set aside.

  3. Roll out puff pastry (using frozen is fine++life is too short to make puff pastry and there is now a brand made with polyunsaturated oil) to line a 25 to 28 cm tart tin with a removable base.

  4. Dip the tomato slices in cornmeal coating them on both sides, and fry them slowly in a little olive oil until golden brown. Layer the slices into the pastry case. Sprinkle the top with chopped basil, then with 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with a few drops of oil.

  5. Bake in a preheated 230C oven for 15 minutes,then lower the heat to 190C and cook for a further 20 minutes or so. Serve straight from the oven before the tomato juices can make the pastry soggy.

  6. Makes 8 servings.


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