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Traditional Tomatican

Traditional Tomatican on Black Olive Focaccia
Serves 4
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For the tomatican
  1. Trivento extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1 small onion, cut into small dice
  3. 1 red bell pepper, cut into small dice
  4. 1 large shallot, cut into small dice
  5. 1 medium leek, well cleaned and cut into small dice, using only the tender white part
  6. Salt
  7. Freshly ground black pepper
  8. 1 small can (15 ounces) Italian plum tomatoes, well chopped, with juice
  9. 2 large eggs
  10. A dozen fresh basil leaves, lightly chopped
Focaccia dough
  1. 1 cup warm water
  2. 1 teaspoon sugar
  3. 1 package dry yeast
  4. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. Trivento extra virgin olive oil
  7. 5 black Greek olives, pitted and sliced
To make the tomatican
  1. In a large sauté pan, heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium flame. Add the onion, leeks, shallots and bell peppers, season with salt and black pepper and sauté until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Now add the tomatoes, turn the heat down a bit and cook, stirring frequently, until it’s thick and has the consistency of marmalade, about 10 minutes. Pull the pan off the heat and let it cool down for about a minute. Now whisk in the eggs, the gentle heat from the tomato mixture will allow the eggs to thicken the sauce without curdling. Let cool.
For the sponge
  1. Dissolve the yeast, sugar and ¼ cup of the warm water in a bowl. Let this sit for about 5 minutes. Then add 3 tablespoons of the flour, mix briefly, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
To finish the dough
  1. Place the remaining flour and salt in a large bowl and mix to incorporate the salt. Make a hollow in the center of the flour and tip in the sponge. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Slowly add the rest of the water while mixing with a wooden spoon, until you have a sticky ball. Then transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Add the olives and work them into the dough. The dough should be moist and soft.
  2. Grease a baking sheet with olive oil, place the dough on it and stretch it out the best you can (at this point it probably won’t reach the sides of the baking sheet. Drizzle a little olive oil on the dough and allow to set until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Then sink the tips of your fingers into the dough, making little indentations, while stretching the dough out to the sides of the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil again, cover with a kitchen towel, and allow to set until volume has doubled, about 1 more hour.
  3. Preheat oven 375 degrees.
  4. Bake the focaccia until golden, about 30 minutes. Then pull it from oven, allow it to cool for about 15 minutes and remove it from the baking sheet.
  1. Spread the tomaticán on top of the focaccia and scatter on the fresh basil. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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