Potato pizza with ham and spinach

Potato pizza finished dish

Potato pizza finished dish

Bari crestPizza di patate e prosciutto. From Bari. This is a more complicated version of the traditional potato “pizza”.  They call it a pizza here, but that name is quite confusing as it does not contain any bread or flour. To confuse matters further it is also known as Torta di patate or Gateau di patate in various regions. It is basically a potato pie filled with ham and spinach. The ham can easily be left out to make it vegetarian (if you are careful about what cheese you use of course). It can be eaten warm or cold and will keep in the fridge for 3 or 4 days. It also freezes well. Serves about 8 as a main course.

Potato pizza ingredients

Potato pizza ingredients

  • 1.2 kg floury potatoes.
  • 250g scamorza, provola or mozzarella, grated or thinly sliced.
  • 500g fresh spinach
  • 150g cooked ham
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 70g grated parmesan
  • Dry bread crumbs
  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Nutmeg 

Cook the potatoes in their skins in lightly salted water. Drain and peel when cool enough to handle.

Potato pizza cooking potatoes

Potato pizza cooking potatoes

Mash the potatoes and mix with the egg yolks and parmesan.

Potato pizza mixed with cheese

Potato pizza mixed with cheese

Fry the whole garlic clove for a few minutes in a little olive oil. Remove and add the spinach. There should be enough water clinging to the leaves after washing. Add a little salt and couple of grates of nutmeg. Cook over a medium heat until the spinach has completely wilted. Leave to cool and squeeze out as much water as possible.

Potato pizza cooking spinach

Potato pizza cooking spinach

Grease a 24cm cake tin and dust with bread crumbs. Use 2/3 of the potato to make the base of the pizza. Build up the sides a little to contain the filling. Add the spinach.

Potato pizza with spinach

Potato pizza with spinach

Add the ham

Potato pizza with ham

Potato pizza with ham

Cover with the cheese

Potato pizza with cheese

Potato pizza with cheese

Close the pizza with the remaining 1/3 of the potato. Cover the top with bread crumbs and dot liberally with knobs of butter.

Potato pizza ready for the oven

Potato pizza ready for the oven

Bake in an oven preheated to 200°c for 50 minutes.

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Chickpea and tagliatelle soup

Matera crestMinestra di ceci from Matera. A few weeks ago some friends and I visited the beautiful town of Matera in Basilicata. After a very pleasant morning sightseeing we visited a restaurant that had been recommended in the ‘Slow Food’ guide – ‘Le Botteghe’ in Piazza San Pietro Barisano. Wonderful simple food. This is my attempt to recreate one of their specialities.

botteghe entrance

Chickpea soup ingredients

Chickpea soup ingredients

  • 250g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 150g fresh tagliatelle, cut into 5cm lengths
  • 30g smoked pancetta, cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Fry the pancetta and garlic cloves in a little olive oil for a few minutes.
  2. Add the chickpeas together with a litre of water and bring to the boil.
  3. Add the rosemary, cover and cook over a moderate heat for around 2 hours.
  4. Remove the rosemary and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the taglietelle and cook for a further few minutes.
  6. This dish is sometimes served topped with fried breadcrumbs.

Variation: When the chickpeas are cooked remove half the chickpeas, liquidize them and return them to the soup.

Orecchiette making in Bari old town

As I have posted quite a few orecchiette recipes in the last few days, I thought you might like to take a look at one of the local ‘mammas’ in the old town. People practically live on the street and it sometimes feels like you are walking through their kitchen 🙂 Many of these women will also sell pasta to passers by. She makes it look so easy, but believe me, it’s not! I’ve tried!

 That clip seems to have disapeared. Here’s another one. She goes much slower though!

 

Those of you who have seen Jamie Oliver’s Great Italian Escape will have seen oriecchette being prepared in the episode about Puglia. Jamie goes hunting for the ‘pasta mammas’ through the back streets of Altamura.