We had a lovely visit with her and when we left she sent us on our way with a care package as grandmothers often do. It was a little Christmas bag that weighed a ton. When Forrest and I peered inside we were tickled with our gift. She had given us potatoes from her farm in Maine - I was elated. I couldn't wait to cook with them. I put a lot of thought into what I should make with them. I thought about Ma and how many potato dishes she has probably eaten over the years. I doubt there would be any potato dish that I could find that Ma hasn't tried.
But then I found this recipe and I was really intrigued. It seemed a little strange, but equally delicious. So I figured it was worth a shot. And it was! It was amazing! Take my word and try this no matter how strange it may seem.
Potato Pie with Tomato and Fontina
Adapted from Food and Wine 1998
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 1/2 pounds baking potatoes (about 5), peeled and halved
- 4 ounces of pancetta, diced
- 1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, drained and chopped fine
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Fresh-ground black pepper
- 3/4 pound grated fontina (about 3 cups)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1. Heat the oven to 450°. Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put the tomatoes in a strainer set over a medium bowl. Toss with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and let drain for 20 minutes.
2. Cook the pancetta until crisp in a small skillet; drain on paper towels and set aside.
3. Drain the potatoes and mash them in the saucepan with a potato masher or a fork.
Cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the potato starts to stick to the pan, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the oil,
the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper. Remove from the heat.
3. Oil a large baking sheet. Spread the potato mixture onto the baking sheet, forming two 6-by-11-inch rectangles pressing down with the back of a measuring cup sprayed with cooking spray
for an even thickness.
Top the potato with the fontina,leaving a 1/4-inch border.
Sprinkle the garlic and pancetta over the cheese.
Top with the drained tomatoes
followed by the red pepper flakes,
oregano and Parmesan. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
Bake the potato pies in the lower third of the oven until the cheese is bubbling and the edges are golden brown, about 25 minutes.