Pan Catalán

Catalonian Tomato Bread


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in


By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2007

  • About

For the Cataláns, making pan catalán (tomato bread) is a way of life. With a few simple strokes of the hand, the addition of a little garlic, oil, tomato and salt transforms crusty, crunchy bread into something sublime. My Aunt Carmen is from Catalonia. She cuts the ends off a loaf of bread, scoops away the inside and then rubs away with garlic and tomato. In restaurants they often use toasted bread and bring the tomato to the table, allowing the guests to do the squeezing and rubbing themselves. It is essential that only the ripest and sweetest tomatoes are used. In Catalonia this recipe is simply known as pa amb tomaquet (bread and tomato).


  • 6 thick slices pasta dura or other firm crusty bread
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
  • 6 very ripe tomatoes, halved
  • fine sea salt, to sprinkle


Toast the bread until golden. Rub the garlic halves on one side of the toast slices. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Squeeze the tomato halves over the bread like a lemon then rub the pulp over the bread, discarding the skins. Sprinkle with a little sea salt.