PASTA e PATATE – PASTA and POTATOES
I get a feeling of comfort when I eat this dish especially when it’s rainy and stormy outside. I cook this dish during those days or when I forgot to go to the grocery store the day before and my refrigerator is half empty. It’s also a dish that cooks almost by itself without requiring my full attention while I’m preparing it. It’s easy to make and delicious to eat. It’s a typical dish of southern Italian cooking, born originally in Naples. It is considered ‘un piatto povero’ and yet it’s a very popular dish with a rich taste, made with simple ingredients, potatoes and mixed pasta. There are many ways of making it out there. This is my version:
- ½ lb short mixed pasta
- 3 large potatoes peeled and cubed
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 garlic clove thinly chopped
- vegetable broth (or just water)
- 1 Bay leaf
- Parmesan cheese (1 Crust plus grated)
- olive oil
- red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil in a large pot and add the potatoes. Cook for a few more minutes and add enough broth to cover the potatoes. Add the bay leaf, salt and pepper, a pinch of red pepper flakes and a crust of Parmesan cheese. Cook until the potatoes are soft and add the pasta, with more water if necessary, and cook until ‘al dente’. Remove from the heat and let pasta cook while it’s sitting in the pot. Add fresh chopped parsley and adjust with salt and pepper. Serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
Tip: You can use any kind of short pasta that you have already opened in your cupboard and mix them together, as long as they hold the same cooking time. I like to mix some broken spaghetti with short pasta.