Pasta e Patate con la Provola is a humble Neapolitan primo piatto that belongs to cucina povera, poor man’s cooking. Basically, it is usually short pasta cooked with chunks of potatoes and to which is added smoked Provola, a stringy and tasty cheese from Southern Italy.
The particularity of this dish is that the pasta is not previously cooked as is normally done, but is added raw and cooked together with the other ingredients. Pasta cooked in this way is called ‘risottata’, i.e. the same procedure as risotto, one ladle of very hot broth at a time.
Pasta potatoes with provola is also particular for its consistency, because it has to be sticky, ‘azzeccata’ as they say in Neapolitan dialect.
Serves 4, Preparation time 20 mins, Cooking time 40 mins
- Yellow potatoes or Yukon Gold, 350 gr
- Mixed short pasta, 300 gr
- Italian Provola cheese, 80 gr
- 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk diced
- Fresh Rosemary, 1 sprig
- Vegetable hot broth, 1 lt
- Grated Parmigiano cheese, 80 gr.
- 2-3 Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind, optional
- Parsley finely chopped, a bunch
- EVOO – Extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons
- Salt and Black pepper to taste
Peel and dice the potatoes.
Finely chop the onion, celery and carrot.
In a pot heat two tablespoons of EVOO and fry the garlic clove for a few minutes together with the chopped onion, celery and carrot, letting them wilt gently, then add the diced potatoes. Stir and add a sprig of rosemary.
Cook for a few minutes, taking care that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan, if necessary add a drop of hot stock.
Pour in a ladle of hot vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Remove the rosemary and garlic, pour in the short pasta adding one ladle of hot stock at a time and the Parmigiano Reggiano rinds. Do not add too much broth as the pasta should have a thick consistency.
Meanwhile, roughly chop Provola cheese.
As soon as the pasta is cooked, remove the pot from the heat. Sprinkle with ground pepper and a little salt and mix healthy. Add Provola cheese and a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano Reggiano, keep stirring. Add a drizzle of EVOO, add chopped parsley and serve.