Time: 90 minutes
Torta di Patate alla Trentina, a substantial and nourishing dish from the Trentino Alto Adige region in Northern Italy. It can be served alongside salads, grilled meats, fish, and veggies. It’s easy to make and the leftover slices can be reheated perfectly. In fact, some swear that a day old torte tastes even better.
- 2 lbs (900 g) red skin potatoes, whole, skin left on
- 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup (225 g) grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup (225 g) smoked ham, such as Smithfield ham, sliced into thin strips
- 3 eggs lightly beaten
- 2 Tbsp milk
- 1 Tbsp scallions finely chopped
- a generous pinch of nutmeg
- freshly ground pepper
- 2-3 Tbsp of breadcrumbs
- extra butter for dotting the top of the torte
Place whole potatoes in a pot of salted water and bring it to a boil. Cook until tender about 15-20 minutes. Let it cool about 15 minutes. Peel potatoes and grate them with the coarse side of a box grater. When finished you should have about 4 cups (900 g) coarsely grated potatoes.
Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
Put grated potatoes in a bowl. Add Parmesan cheese, the sliced ham, scallions. Beat eggs with the milk, nutmeg, and freshly grated pepper. Add it to the potato mix. Taste for salt. Parmesan and ham contain salt. It might not be necessary to add any. Potato mix should be thick and a bit lumpy, not stiff. Add more milk by the tablespoon if the mix seems too dry.
Take a 10 inch (25 cm) tart pan with removable bottom and line it with parchment paper or aluminum foil which has been buttered with the 1 1/2 tablespoon butter. Butter sides as well. Be generous. Spread potato mixture into a cake pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and dot it with some butter (4-5 dollops). Bake for 30 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden.
Remove from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the pan and remove the side ring. Cut it into wedges and serve.