Do you have a dish that brings you back to your childhood kitchen table? I’m sure , like me, you have many. Most of mine are simple dishes that my stay at home Mom fed us day after day and while they all left an impression on me some were just more special to me. Coming in from P.S.26 in Staten Island, NYC at 3:10pm every day would always be made better when the aroma coming from Mom’s kitchen reached out..grabbed me by the nostrils and pulled me in. These are things you don’t ever forget. Let me not bore you AGAIN with my ethnic background, OK, I’ll bore you..I’m ItalianAmerican, second generation born in the U.S. and our meals were mostly Italian foods, or ITalianAmerican foods and peppered up with American and other international cuisines. Mom gave us a great meal every night (not so much on breakfast, Mom hated the mornings). Come Spring I start to miss Mom more than usual (#italianamericanmommasboy), she loved her Spring and all the holidays it contained. March is a bridge month I think. A little Winter , A little Summer. It takes us from the cold barren ice into the budding green and flowers.So winter or colder weather dishes are still great thru the month. PATATE IN UMIDO…Stewed Potatoes, doesn’t sound to great does it? Let me change your mind. I’d eat this dish every night. On it’s own with a nice piece of Italian bread. In the Summer when Dad’s garden was bursting she’d throw handfuls of his many varieties of green beans into the pot as well. In that one move she took the hearty Wintry Patate in Umido and turned it into a Summer’s dish. I smell her Aqua Net shellacked hair do along with her perfume as she’s passing me by as I write this. I’ll bet she wants to make sure I don’t screw up her dish as I share it with you! LET’S COOK!!!
3 lbs of peeled potatoes
3 tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 cloves of garlic
1 can of San Marzano tomatoes, run thru a blender to puree or 2 cups of Passata
pinch of dried Oregano
3 fresh Basil leaves
water as needed
Pecorino Romano, or Parmigiano Reggiano, grated to taste
Peperoncino, to taste
Like most rustic Italian dishes not a lot of ingredients, all of these are very obtainable.
Cut potatoes into equal but cubes or slices. Heat, in a heavy bottomed pot 2 Tbs. Olive Oil. Pinch of salt, a bit of the Oregano, a bit of the pepper. Now add the potatoes and let them cook for 5 minutes stirring as you go. Add the garlic and saute’ till fragrant. Blend well. Now season the potatoes with salt and pepper and then add the tomatoes and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil. Stir. Now let this pot simmer for 40 minutes. Test a potato for doneness. Make sure you gently stir without breaking up the potatoes. If they are cooked through you are done. Remove from the heat. Tear up 3 basil leaves and gently blend in. DONE! This makes large servings for 4, or a side dish for 4-6. Check the dish for seasoning. Add salt and pepper as needed/to your liking. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the pot. Let your diners add their own peperoncino and Grated Cheese.
Thanks again for stopping by and HAPPY COOKING!!