Farmers Market Finds & A Goat Cheese, Bacon, Onion & Tomato Pie

This past Saturday, if you haven’t already figured out, I went to Pepper Place Farmer’s Market. Farmer’s Markets are obviously an addiction for me. I could be a Farmer’s Market Hoarder. Because I want everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. I’ve bought cutting boards, bowls, jewelry, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, BBQ…pretty much anything I’m in the mood for at the time! Last post, it was strawberries. Before that it was honey. And this week, I just couldn’t make up my mind! Clearly….

Pepper Place Farmer's Market, Birmingham, AL

Farmers Market Goodies

But one thing that was very clear to me was that I wanted some tomatoes. And what a week to want them. They were just gorgeous! Heirlooms, Clusters, Beefsteaks, Cherry, Green…they were everywhere! Swoon!

Combination of Beefsteak & Cluster Tomatoes

Farmer’s Market Tomatoes, Basil & Onion

Now I just had to figure out what to make! I always make BLT’s. I mean who doesn’t?!?! But I wanted more! So the longer I walked around “sampling” the market with my The Home T Tote Bag (Seriously go check them out), it dawned on me. Tomato Pie. With Bacon. And Caramelized Onions. And GOAT CHEESE. Ahhh…this was going to be good. And it seriously was.

Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

Just look at that Tomato Pie Goodness!

This is really an easy dish to make. And one that is so versatile you can eat it for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Take it to a picnic, serve it at a party or a reunion! It’s really just good anytime!

First thing to get started. Slice your tomatoes about 1/4″ thick into a colander. I used a combination of Beefsteak & Cluster. You use whatever kind is in season and looks the best from your market. Lightly salt & pepper them and let drain of any excess juice and seeds for at least 30 minutes. You don’t want the pie to be soggy, and this will help.

Sliced tomatoes drained in a colander

Let these sit for at least 30 minutes!

While you are letting those tomatoes sit, prepare your other ingredients. Slice your onions, chiffonade your basil, prepare your pie crust & chop your bacon. If you have forgotten…click here for the easiest way to prepare bacon and always have some ready to go! For the pie crust, I wanted to keep it simple this time. So I used a Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust. All you have to do is place it in your pie plate and then pre-bake it for 10 minutes. Simple as that. If you want a homemade pie crust…you can click here for my homemade version from my Aunt Inez. Either way will work just fine.

Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

While your pie crust is baking and cooling, you need to caramelize your onions. Drizzle your olive oil in a sauté pan. Once the oil is hot, add your onions and sauté for about 25-30 minutes. Don’t stir these too often. Just enough so that they aren’t sticking to the pan. You want them to be a rich, warm & brown in color.

Once the onions are done and the pie crust cooled, it’s time to start layering the ingredients for the pie! Start with your tomatoes. You want these in a single layer barely overlapping each other. Next, add your onions and bacon. About half of each. Then spread out your basil, pinches of goat cheese and mozzarella. About a 1/3 for each layer.

Goat Cheese Tomato Pie Layering

The First Layer of the Goat Cheese Tomato Pie

Continue with the next layer and then finish with a layer of tomatoes. Here is where you will add the rest of the cheese & basil. I also added a little bit of fresh grated parmesan cheese, but that is up to you!

Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes until your crust is golden brown, pie is bubbly and the cheese is melted and browned! Let the pie rest and cool on a wire rack or trivet for at least 30 minutes – up to an hour. Then serve! Serve it with a salad, drizzle some balsamic on top, or just eat it by itself! Which is what I did. All. By. Itself.

Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

We need Smell-o-Vision AND Taste-o-Vision for this!

This is definitely my new favorite way to make a Tomato Pie! And my inspiration came straight from the Farmer’s Market! If you haven’t been to your local market…go this week! It’s well worth your time. You’ll be supporting your local farmers…and who knows what other inspiration you may find!!

Let me know what you think! Enjoy! 🙂

Fresh Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

4-6 Fresh Tomatoes (Heirloom, Beefsteak, Cluster) Sliced 1/4″ Thick
Refrigerator Pie Crust (Or Homemade…Click here for recipe)
1 Medium Onion Sliced Thin
3/4 lb Thick Cut Bacon, Cooked & Chopped (Around 6-7 Slices)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Handful of Fresh Basil, Sliced in a Chiffonade. About 2-3 tbsp.
4 oz Herbed Goat Cheese
1 c Shredded Mozzarella (I used a little less)
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Fresh Grated Parmesan for Dusting

1. Slice Tomatoes about 1/4″ thick and place in a colander. Salt & Pepper and let stand for at least 30 minutes to drain seeds and extra juice.
2. Slice onion into thin slices to caramelize. Set aside.
3. Chiffonade fresh basil & set aside.
4. Place refrigerated pie crust in a pie plate. Bake according to instructions. Then set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While tomatoes are draining & crust is baking/cooling, caramelize the onions.
6. Drizzle olive oil into a sauté pan and begin caramelizing onions until brown on medium heat. Stirring occasionally. About 25 minutes. Set Aside.
7. Begin layering tomatoes in the pie crust in a single layer overlapping a little.
8. Add bacon & onions on top of tomatoes. Then top with basil chiffonades.
9. Add pinches of goat cheese and mozzarella on top of basil, bacon and onions. About 1/3 of each.
10. Repeat layers until tomatoes are the last layer. Then top with remaining cheese and basil. Dust the top of the pie with fresh grated parmesan cheese.
11. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes until cheese is browning & pie is bubbly.
12. Let cool for 30 minutes – 1 hour before serving.

Pasta Night! Beef & Sausage Pasta with Spinach & Fresh Herbs

Pasta! My absolute favorite Carb!  I mean…who doesn’t like Pasta?!?!  That would just be Un-American!  Or Un-Italian!  Or…Un-Everything Normal in this Entire Universe!!!!  Pasta is one of those foods that is so easy to keep handy in the pantry.  So many different shapes, sizes and uses!  Homemade or dried, it’s so versatile and quick to use for a well planned meal or for any last-minute meals like this one!!

I have been away from Simple Southern Living for a couple of weeks because I catered my first wedding (more to come on that very, very soon…EEEK)!  So the last thing I’ve really wanted to do since was a lot of cooking!  But this week, I had a real craving for some good, hearty pasta!  So here is what I had in the pantry.  Everything but the sausage & fresh herbs.

**Disclaimer…the wine is not for use in the recipe!  That was all for me to enjoy.  All by itself. All of it.

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Beef & Sausage Pasta Bake Ingredients–And Wine.

This is only a 2 pot meal, so very easy clean up!  Get your pasta water started while you are chopping the onion, garlic & herbs and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Next you will want to heat a pan large enough for all of the ingredients.  I used a 12″ Stainless Chicken Fryer. (If you don’t have a big enough pan…you’ll have 3 pots because you’ll need a casserole dish later.)

Brown the Wright’s mild sausage & lean ground beef with the onion & garlic you just chopped.  I didn’t use any oil.  The sausage had enough oil to brown ground beef without adding any extra.  Which meant I also didn’t have to drain my pan! Also add in the red pepper flakes, salt & pepper.  Once this is browned, your pasta water should be ready to boil the noodles.  Make sure you always salt pasta water!  To quote the great Mario Batali, now a host on the wonderful show ‘The Chew’…”Salt the Water Like the Sea”!  Boil the noodles until they are cooked al dente.  Usually about 1-2 minutes less than the package instructions for my preference.  Then drain.

Noodles Boiling, Meat & Tomatoes Simmering.

Noodles Boiling, Meat & Tomatoes Simmering

Finish the sauce while the noodles are boiling. Add in your whole tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil & more salt & pepper if needed.  Let the mixture simmer & reduce down slightly.  For any Italian dishes that call for tomatoes, I always use whole San Marzano Tomatoes.  They are easy to break up in the pan while you stir and I think they just have more flavor.  I usually use Cento San Marzano Whole Peeled Tomatoes.

Next add in heavy cream, spinach & parmesan cheese to sauce. You just want the spinach to be slightly cooked down.  Then stir noodles into the mixture.  Top with more parmesan & mozzarella cheese then bake in the oven for a few minutes until cheese is slightly melted & brown!

Perfetto!

Perfetto!

Perfetto!

You can top this with a little more basil, olive oil and certainly some fresh grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese!  Serve it with a salad, some toasted bread or just by itself! So easy and quick but everyone will think you were cooking away for hours!  Let them think it!!  This is a dish they will be sayingComplimenti Alla Cuoca”…or Compliments to the Cook!

Buon Appetito!!!

Buon Appetito!!!

Let me know what you think! Alla Salute!

Beef & Sausage Pasta with Spinach and Fresh Herbs

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Credit: Simple Southern Living

1 lb of Lean Ground Beef
1 lb of Mild Sausage
3/4 pkg No Egg Pasta Ribbons
1 28 oz Can San Marzano Whole Tomatoes
3 oz Tomato Paste
3/4 Bag of Spinach
3/4 c. Parmesan Cheese & More for Topping
8 oz Fresh Mozzarella
1 c. of Heavy Cream
2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 Medium Onion, Diced
2 Garlic Cloves, Chopped 
1 1/2 tbsp Chopped Fresh Oregano
5 Basil Leaves Chopped
Salt & Pepper to Taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees & boil water for the pasta.
2. Chop onion, garlic & fresh herbs.  
3. Next brown the sausage, lean ground beef, red pepper flakes, onions & garlic in a heavy deep skillet.
4. Once this is browned, go ahead and salt the boiling pasta water very well then stir in the noodles. Cook 1-2 minutes less than the package directions then drain.
5. Finish the sauce while the noodles are boiling.  Make sure there isn’t any excess oil in the pan.  Drain if needed.
6. Add in the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, salt & pepper.  Stir until the tomatoes are broken up and mixed well.  
7. Let sauce reduce a little.
8. Add in fresh basil, heavy cream, parmesan cheese & spinach.  Let spinach cook down slightly.
9. Finally stir in noodles and toss to coat.  
10. Add any salt & pepper to taste if needed.  Top with parmesan and slices of mozzarella.
11.Bake just until cheese is melted and slightly brown.  
12. Drizzle with olive oil, fresh parm or more basil if you like.