Back in my childhood days, torta (Omelet with Potatoes and Ground Meat) did not have a reserved space in my plate. Whenever I see that torta is being prepared in the kitchen, I usually try to convince my mom to give me other things to eat. Of course she almost never did because we had a rule at home that whatever is on the table has to be eaten. I just learned to drown it with banana ketchup and eat more rice than usual. You see, in the Philippines, a normal meal is composed of meat or fish, vegetable side dish, rice and condiments that can go with the food. In the case of the torta, ketchup is the most popular one, especially the one made with bananas.
Being all grown up now with my own kids thousands of miles away from the Philippines, I learned to appreciate the long lost childhood dishes that I used to have, whether I liked them before or not. My tastes changed and since Filipino ingredients are hard to find in Italy, one of the easiest to prepare with the ingredients I find here is torta or omelet with potatoes and ground meat. Fast forward, it's one of the Filipino dishes I like putting together at home - paired with white rice sometimes and tomato ketchup (I prefer it over banana ketchup now) on the side. It's one of the dishes that my kids enjoy too.
Most of the time, I cook torta whenever I have leftovers of the sautèed ground meat with potatoes. And for a bit of green, I modified the classic version by adding green peas. For a bit of red, I serve it with a simple tomato salad. The natural colors of the vegetables give life to the neutral-colored omelet, doesn't it? Typically, this torta is served with white rice in the Philippines but it can also be enjoyed as filling to sandwiches, most especially if the bread used is pandesal, a kind of local bread.
More Filipino Recipes:
Filipino Torta (Omelet with Potatoes and Ground Meat)
- Olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 1 medium tomato, roughly chopped
- 1 cup ground beef or pork (or 50% beef and 50% pork)
- 1 large potato, peeled and diced
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup frozen peas
- 10 eggs
- Over medium heat, in a large saucepan with olive oil, sautè the garlic, onion and tomato for about 3 minutes.
- Add the meat then sautè for 5 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, peas and water then cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the meat and potatoes in a bowl when cooked then let it cool. Mix in the eggs.
- Wipe the saucepan with paper towels to get rid of excess oil then pour a little bit of new olive oil.
- When the oil is hot, pour half of the mixture in the saucepan. Wait for the bottom side to cook. If you are making a big torta for 4, it's better to divide it into 2. Otherwise, it will be hard to cook and flip a big one.
- When the bottom side is cooked, flip the torta and cook the other side.
- Serve warm with white rice and ketchup if desired. It can also be eaten as filling in sandwiches.