A Recipe from Rebecca: Cacio e Pepe Potatoes Anna

January 19, 2023 by General Administrator

My sister gave me a Deb Perelman cookbook for Christmas. If you don’t know her food blog, let me recommend it to you. It and her cookbooks are full of excellent and straightforward recipes. Here is one: a crispy, cheesy, peppery, potato galette, baked in the oven and topped with rocket like one of those Pizza Express Soho pizzas that were fashionable in the 1990s. It’s really good and tastes as if it contains much, much more butter than it actually does. Just look at the picture. . .

Photo from https://smittenkitchen.com/2017/05/potatoes-anna-new-cookbook-preview/

In case you are wondering, cacio e pepe (‘cheese and pepper’) is a simple and delicious pasta
dish of spaghetti tossed with pecorino, a lot of pepper, and a little butter. It’s apparently
typical of Rome (not that I have ever been to Rome). Here’s a recipe:

Cacio e Pepe Potatoes Anna
Serves 4

For the potato galette
50g grated pecorino, parmesan, or other hard, salty goat cheese
1 tablespoon cornflour or potato starch
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
30-45g butter, melted (or olive oil)
1kg potatoes, peeled if you like and sliced very thinly
For the salad
150g rocket
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ tablespoon lemon juice

Assemble the potatoes: Heat the oven to 190C. Combine the cheese, cornflour or potato
starch, salt and pepper in a small dish. Taste it: it should have a strong salty-peppery kick.
Pour 1 tablespoon of the butter (or oil) into a 22cm-diameter ovenproof pan, and swirl it
around to coat the sides a bit.

Arrange a quarter of the potatoes in overlapping, concentric circles around the bottom of the
pan. Sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture and drizzle with a little more
butter (or oil). Repeat until all the potatoes are used up. There should be about 1 tablespoon
of the cheese mixture left over; set this aside.

Bake the galette: Heat the oven to 190C. Press a piece of nonstick baking paper over the top
of the pan and, using your hands, press down a bit to compact the potatoes. Put the pan,
baking paper and all, into the oven. If your pan has a lid you can put that on top, as well.

Bake for 35 minutes, by which time the potatoes should be nearly tender. Remove the pan
from the oven for a moment and press the paper down again, to further compact the potatoes.
Return to the oven (you can leave the lid off at this point, if you are using a lid) and bake for
a further 25-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are a beautiful golden-brown and very tender.
Press down one more time and remove from the oven. Set aside for a few minutes

Prepare the salad garnish: While the potatoes are cooking combine the oil and lemon juice in
a small jar with a lid, and shake vigorously to combine. Toss with the rocket and set aside.

Finish and serve: When you are ready to serve, run a knife around the edge of the pan to
loosen the potato cake. Place a large plate over the top of the pan and carefully invert the
galette onto the plate. It should be crispy and golden. Cut it into wedges and top with the
rocket salad. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of the cheese mixture over the top and serve

Recipe adapted from Deb Perelman, Smitten Kitchen Every Day (2017).

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