Pasta e Patate con la Provola


That’s Pasta and Potatoes with Provolone. I know what you’re saying – Pasta and Potatoes? Carb over kill and totally tasteless! Well, not true. This is (my spin) on a traditional Neapolitan peasant dish, which is (obviously) quite filling but does bring out the best in these simple ingredients.

When I tried this in Naples, the Provolone added not only a creaminess, but also a subtle smoky flavour. Provolone isn’t that easy to find in UK supermarkets, and a smoked provolone even harder, so you could experiment with an alternative mild semi-hard cheese, such as Gruyere, or a smoked cheese such as Applewood, but don’t go for anything too overpowering

I’ve used new potatoes here, but you could use any waxy potatoes. If using floury potatoes, these will give more of a starch texture and may collapse into the sauce. Remember – the aim is to make the potatoes a feature of the dish!

The starch from the pasta thickens the soup. I used Caserecce, but any dried pasta would work just fine. The pasta should be cooked al dente – make sure you don’t cook the soup for too long or it will turn into a stodgy mess!

Serves 2 – 3

Cooking time – 30-45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 medium Onion, finely chopped
  • 200g New Potatoes, washed & cut into approx 2-3cm cubes
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 1 ltr Light stock (I used a mixture of Chicken & Vegetable)
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Puree, or a good dollop of Marinara Sauce
  • A large handful of fresh herbs (Oregano, Thyme, Marjoram, Sage)
  • 200g Pasta
  • 75g smoked Provolone cheese, or alternative, cut into small dice
  • Salt & Pepper to season
  • Chilli flakes to serve

Method

  • Heat the oil in the pan and gently fry off the onion until soft
  • Add the potatoes and cook gently for a few minutes, stirring to prevent sticking
  • Add the glass of whine and bring to the boil before adding the stock and tomato puree. Stir well
  • Finely chop all of the herbs except the sage leaves, and throw the lot into the pan
  • Simmer gently until the potatoes are very nearly cooked
  • Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Stir to prevent sticking
  • When cooked, check seasoning and stir in the cheese before serving into bowls
  • Top with a light sprinkling of red chilli flakes
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