Pasta e Patate “Ara Tieddra” | Baked Potato Pasta Recipe
“One-pot pastas” are a rarity in Italy, but this is an exception (and perhaps one of the first in history). This recipe comes from Calabria, where raw pasta and potatoes are baked together into a fantastic pasta al forno.
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PASTA E PATATE “ARA TIEDDRA” RECIPE
Makes: One 3.5 quart baked pasta, serves 6-8
Cook Time: About 1 hour
For this recipe, you will need:
6 ¾ cups (1.6 L) tomato puree
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds (900 g) russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
12.5 ounces (360 g) penne pasta
7 ounces (200 g) fresh pecorino or provola cheese, chopped
Grated pecorino cheese, to taste
Bread crumbs for topping
Preheat the oven to 485°F (250°C).
Season the tomato puree with salt and olive oil to taste. Spread a very thin layer of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 3.5 quart lasagna dish.
Arrange a single layer of slightly overlapping potato rounds over the tomato sauce. On top of the potatoes, add a sprinkle of salt and oregano, a drizzle of olive oil, and a single layer of penne pasta. Cover the penne with a generous spread of tomato sauce, half of the chopped cheese, and a dusting of grated pecorino.
Make a second layer with potato rounds, another sprinkle of salt/oregano, a drizzle of oil, a second layer of pasta, and the remaining chopped cheese. Cover all with a heavy layer of tomato sauce from edge to edge of the dish.
The pasta and potatoes need liquid to cook, so it’s very important to add some water at this point. Pour about 2 ounces (60ml) of water into the dish (do so by carefully pouring it into one edge of the pan). A glass baking dish is helpful so that you can see the water level—it should fill about 1 inch (2.5 cm) up from the bottom.
Top the assembled pasta with a generous grating of pecorino, a dusting of bread crumbs, and one last drizzle of olive oil.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the top is crispy and crunchy. Don’t worry if it still seems like there’s still liquid in the pan: let the pasta cool for 10-15 minutes before serving and the excess moisture will reabsorb into the pasta and potatoes.
If you enjoy this recipe, you might like to try the Neapolitan version of Pasta e Patate—one of our favorite dishes! Still on a potato kick? Check out the ridiculously delicious “Frico” recipe from northern Italy!