pasta and potatoes

[RECIPE] Neapolitan Pasta and Potatoes from Campania

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Neapolitan Pasta and Potatoes

The Neapolitan tradition boasts many of the most refined and elaborate recipes in Italian cuisine but also excels in simple dishes and this is one of the most iconic. Pasta, originally from the south of Italy, has always been the basis of the Mediterranean diet, but in the poorest households, there were limited options for what to serve with the pasta. This is why potato was used as another cheap and plentiful ingredient.

 

Recommended wine pairing: Greco di Tufo, Pietracupa

 

A great Greco di Tufo is the perfect way to enhance both the dish and the wine.

  • Author: Roscioli Wine Club
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Cuisine: Italian

Ingredients

Scale

160g / 6oz dried short pasta pieces 

500g / 18oz potatoes, peeled and diced

50g / 2oz smoked bacon or pancetta (optional, can be left out to make the soup vegetarian)

80g / 3oz white onion, diced

80g / 3oz carrots, diced

80g / 3oz celery, diced

100g / 4oz cherry tomatoes, halved

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 vegetable stock cube

100g / 4oz smoked Provola cheese or smoked Scamorza cheese, cubed

25g / 1oz Parmesan cheese, grated

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Add the diced onion, carrot, celery and halved cherry tomatoes to a large pot with the olive oil, big enough to hold all the pasta and potatoes later. Allow the vegetables to brown over a low heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Once browned, add the diced potatoes to the pot. Let them brown for a couple of minutes, stirring once or twice.
  3. Add the stock cube and enough water to just cover the vegetables and potatoes, bring to the boil and then lower the heat to minimum and cover with a lid.
  4. Leave to cook for about 40 minutes, the potatoes should be tender but not falling apart. During cooking, check regularly but do not stir too much. If the water is being absorbed quickly, you can add a little more to the pot. 
  5. Once the potatoes are tender, add a further large glass of water to the pot, turn up the heat to bring it to a boil and then add the pasta: if necessary, add another half glass of water.
  6. Cook the pasta over a medium-low heat without a lid to allow it to take on the creaminess of the potatoes. The dish should appear quite thick so turn up the heat if you see that the pasta and potatoes are still too soupy.
  7. Once the pasta is cooked and you are happy with the consistency, turn off the heat and add the Provola or Scamorza cheese cubes to the pot. Stir well until the cheese cubes are starting to melt and then serve immediately with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Notes

If you prefer, you can prepare the potatoes the day before. Bring back to a boil and allow the pasta to cook before serving on the day.


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