Patatas Bravissimo

We went to Pizza Express for lunch today like civilised, metropolitan twenty-somethings. Admittedly I spent a lot of the time bobbing baby to sleep as I sang “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” and the Patriarch cut my food into pieces I could pick up one handed. It was very pleasant, even if the baby now smells like goats’ cheese and red onion.

In my fine tradition of bastardising perfectly good recipes, this one is Patatas Bravissimo. My mum fed me some rather good homemade roasted tomato sauce the other day, so I’ve recreated it here as part of an Italianate twist on a tapas classic. The potatoes are seasoned with oregano and topped with mozzarella. You can either serve as tapas or a main. 

Roasting the tomatoes and peppers makes all the difference to the depth of flavour. Mozzarella is what I would term a “pleasingly bland” cheese – the mellowness of the flavour is what balances the intensity of the sauce. Alternatively, there’s a vegan option below.

Oh, and I’ve finally got round to making a Facebook page! Take a look here (and Like if you feel charitable.)

SERVES 3 for main or 6 for tapas

TIME 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

300g cherry or vine tomatoes (the better the quality, the sweeter and richer the sauce)

2 red peppers

Chilli flakes

2 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil (or normal olive oil and three cloves of garlic)

750g baby or new potatoes

Plain olive oil

2 tsp dried oregano 

80g mozzarella 

RECIPE

Roughly chop the red peppers and put them in a roasting dish with the tomatoes. Toss in the garlic oil (or plain olive oil, with the cloves halved and added to the dish. Remove after roasting). Put in the oven at 220 degrees for 25 minutes.

Halve the baby potatoes and put in a separate roasting dish. Toss with plain olive oil and sprinkle with the oregano. Season to taste. Roast in the same oven for 45 minutes. 

When the tomatoes and peppers are done, put them in the blender with a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes and blitz until nearly smooth. This is easier said than done with a sleeping baby, and in my case, I stood upstairs with the door shut while the Patriarch did the blending.

Plate up the potatoes. Don’t put the sauce on until you’re ready to serve, or you’ll lose the crispness they gain when roasted. Top with shredded mozzarella. 


VEGAN OPTION

Omit the mozzarella and either use a spoonful of unsweetened vegan cream or plain yoghurt, or a dollop of cashew cheese. 

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