While living in Avellino, Italy, my Aunt Menina sometimes came to spend the day with us. These visits stand out because Menina was great at creating exquisite dishes from my Nonna’s vegetable garden. And she would introduce us to recipes from her husband’s village, Pietrastornina (that’s a mouthful, ain’t it?).
Today, Menina and Antonio Urciuolo serve a fav of mine, Foglie e Patate (Italian for “Leaves and Potatoes) at their restaurant, La Locandina (located in Pietrastornina).
Although my recipe is delicious, whenever I have this vegetarian dish at La Locandina, it’s as though I’m tasting it for the first time. The main ingredients of this recipe are rapini (the leaves) and potatoes.
Make it – I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do!
Prep time: 30 to 35 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6
2 pounds Russet potatoes (about 3 large potatoes)
1/3 cup fine quality extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled & sliced
1 bunch rapini, washed, drained and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
Dash ground black pepper & nutmeg, to taste
1. Place potatoes in a 5 or 6-quart saucepot and cover them with cold water. Cover and bring to a boil.
2. Cook potatoes on medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until fork-tender.
3. Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool.
4. Meanwhile, in a 10 to 12-inch skillet, heat the olive oil.
5. Add the garlic cloves and fry on medium heat until the cloves are golden.
6. Add rapini to the oil and garlic. Cook rapini on medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, occasionally tossing with thongs, until crunchy-tender.
7. Stir in the salt and set skillet with rapini aside.
8. Peel the cooled potatoes and mash them in a large bowl; set aside.
9. Return the skillet with rapini to a burner set on medium heat. Heat the rapini until they are hot.
10. Stir the mashed potatoes into the rapini. Stir and cook until Leaves and Potatoes are warmed through. Season with a dash of black pepper & nutmeg.
Serve in 4 bowls as a vegetarian meal or as 6 side dishes to chicken, fish or meat.
Wine pairing suggestion: Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon (reds).
Text & Photographs ©2012 Nancy DeLucia Real