Some (including me) cannot get enough of tapas.

The endless possibilities and combinations of small delectable dishes can truly be satisfying, especially when you have to quickly improvise a dinner with whatever you have in the fridge.

No tapas experience can be complete without a tortilla española or tortilla de patatas, which is a traditional Spanish omelette that includes potatoes and onions. It’s a true signature tapas dish full of flavor and simple to do.

Legend has it that it was Basque General Tomas Zumalacárregui (a Spanish military officer during the First Carlist War), who invented the potato omelette “for necessity,” being that it was a simple and nutritious dish that can satisfy the appetite of an army…at least, that is one of the better known versions of where the tortilla originated from.

Indeed, it is a fantastic and filling dish, perfect for sharing.

Tapas Menu:

Tortilla Española (Spanish style potatoes and onions omelette, thin version)

Croquetas de jamón (ham croquettes)

French baguette toast rounds with Manchego cheese wedges

Wine pairing:

2018 Louis Jadot – Beaujolais (France)

Let’s get cooking!

Spanish tortilla
Photo: Carlos Sarmiento

Spanish omelette

Serves 4


  • 1 lbs of small yellow potatoes (parboiled, cooled, and chopped into thin rounds)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon of paprika
  • Coarse sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons of Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 large eggs, whisked in a separate bowl


  1. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Lightly fry the parboiled potato rounds for 2 minutes. Add garlic and onions and continue to cook for 4 minutes. Add paprika and stir, cooking for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Spread out potatoes and onions on the pan. Add whisked eggs into the pan, making sure eggs cover the entire pan. Reduce heat to medium/low. Cover frying pan with lid or large plate and cook 10-15 minutes (until the bottom is firm).
  3. Remove the lid or plate cover. The omelette is now ready to be flipped. Carefully place a plate (large enough to capture the diameter of the pan) on top of the pan, firmly holding the plate and with a quick gesture turn the pan over (you might need oven mitts). Slide the tortilla back in the pan gently, and cook on medium/low heat for another 4 minutes.

Spanish croquettes
Photo: Carlos Sarmiento

Ham croquettes



  1. On a medium size frying pan, heat olive oil and fry frozen croquettes according to packet instructions (until golden brown).

Spanish cheese
Photo: Carlos Sarmiento

Toast & Cheese



  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. On a shallow baking sheet, arrange bread rounds evenly. Generously drizzle plenty of extra virgin olive oil on top of each round. Toast until almost golden brown.
  3. Slice Manchego cheese in thin triangular wedges.

Serve it up!

Tapas are typically served on individual, small dishes. I also recommend cutting the omelette in small squares and putting toothpicks in each square for easy pick up.

Spanish tortilla and croquettes and Beaujolais wine
Photo: Carlos Sarmiento

Wine pairing

2018 Louis Jadot – Beaujolais (France): The fruit for this Beaujolais is a blend from carefully selected, high quality vineyards in southern Beaujolais near Lyon, France. The granitic soil creates light, expressive Gamay grapes.

Grapes: 100% Gamay

Taste: This plump, juicy wine has fresh aromas and flavors of strawberries and black cherries offset by lively, peppery notes.

Beaujolais wine
Photo: Carlos Sarmiento

Carlos Sarmiento is an award-winning filmmaker & public relations professional as well as a food & wine aficionado. He first discovered his passion for cooking when he was in his early teens, to the point where he was aspiring to go to culinary arts school and become a chef. Life, however had other plans for him. Carlos ended up studying film-making and pursuing a career in film/TV. After a few years, he made a career change and has since established himself as a seasoned public relations & communications professional. The one constant factor throughout his life’s travels and professional experiences has always been and continues to be his love and appreciation for cultures, cooking, and wine.

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