The end of Summer and the start of Autumn can collectively be called the “HARVEST” season and this recipe helps celebrate some of it’s stars. Potatoes, Roasted Peppers,Tomatoes, Basil will all brighten up this dish which is perfect as a main dish or a side dish. Sometimes Italian cuisine gets a bad rap only because many of it’s most popular dishes in America have become fried and heavy laden with too much cheese. Most common to Italian food from top to bottom of the boot are vegetable mixes. Beans, Potatoes, Greens, Root Vegetables, Tomatoes with onions, garlic, herbs are much more representative of Italian cuisine than say a Calzone. Calzones are really representative of the cuisine of Southern Italian regions, primarily Naples. By the way, I really dislike when writers and food types shy away from those “red sauced” dishes and act as if they are not “really Italian”. I’m not promoting that, however it’s one of the “lessons” or tidbits I hope the reader gets from my blogging and posts, that Italian food is very very healthy and does not rely solely on full fat cheeses and meats. Enough of my lessons for the day because I really want you to enjoy this dish I’m about to share.
For 4-6 People Time: about 2 hours
5 medium sized REDSKIN POTATOES…cubes and cooked in salted water, then drained
4 ROASTED RED PEPPERS, sliced into medium strips…(note here..no one likes to bite into something that slaps you back in the face..pet peeve–food that is too big for your mouth. Slice those peppers!!)
1 sliced ONION
1/2 pt. Sliced CHERRY TOMATOES or 3 seeded and diced ripe TOMATOES
5 BASIL LEAVES
2 TBS EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
KOSHER SALT, GROUND BLACK PEPPER
2 sliced cloves of GARLIC
water if necessary
In a large wide pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat…add the onions, a little salt, and cook them until they are soft. Key piece of info…if they are not soft before you add everything else, they will never get soft. Be patient. Takes about 10 minutes. Then add the potatoes and let them take on some color, about 8 minutes, making sure to move them around the pan. add a pinch of salt. Then add the tomatoes and cook them for 5 minutes , they should break down nicely. Add the garlic for 2 mintues…then the roasted peppers. Blend all the ingredients and taste…add more salt if neeeded. Let this cook on low heat now for about 15 minutes, again, stir..why? Because tomatoes and pepper have natural sugars which do burn up and forever alter the taste of your dish. The object of this dish is to have some of those roasted peppers and tomatoes break down and “coat” the potatoes a bit. Wonderful flavors. I’m a huge fan of any type of potatoes blended with ground or pureed chile peppers or roasted red pepper. Finally, drizzle the other Tbs. of Olive oil over the dish, remove from the heat and add the black pepper, Basil leaves then taste for seasoning. Add more salt if needed, sometimes those potatoes suck it all up and leave you with a bland dish. Over salting is death to a dish and so is underseasoning.
You may find it too dry or if it’s starting to sizzle and caramelize depending on your stove top. Add 4 tbs. of water to the dish, only if you feel the need to. Let it eventually evaporate, doesn’t take long.
Enjoy this tasty dish…my personal serving suggestion is to eat this as a stand alone dish…i add peperoncino and pecorino to mine. Eat it your way and have fun making it!! Happy Cooking!!