Friday, 6 January 2012

The most popular post on this blog. - Torta Di Patate

As seems to be the trend at the moment, I have been looking back over the popular posts in this blog and the one that wins hands down is this one for Torta di patate. Strangely enough it is the very first post that I put on this blog and I did it to stop my brother phoning me every other day for the recipe. So for all of those who don't want to scroll to the very first post on this blog here it is:

For my first recipe will go to the region that my parents come from in Italy, Parma and more locally Bardi. If there are any other Bardigani out there reading this then you will recognise this local speciality, as it's TORTA di PATATE. No Italian picnic is complete without a torta and in my region they even have feste to this torta.

To make a fairly large torta, about 45cm x 30cm, there's no point in making a small one, you will need:

2kg of floury potatoes. My mother used King Edwards but Maris Piper are good too. Don't bother with new potatoes as they tend to be gluey and not good.
2 leeks, white and green cleaned and chopped fairly small
a piece of lardo to fry the leeks. Failing this and in a British kitchen that is fairly likely use some Fatty bacon chopped. Do not use smoked bacon the flavour is wrong in this dish.
1 packet of cream cheese.
A handful of freshly grated Parmesan.
1 or 2 eggs depending on how dry the potatoes are
Some cream remember that this is an Italian recipe so the quantity that I will give is: as much as you need.

For the pastry

250gm plain flour
75gm butter
water salt.

Make the pastry by rubbing the butter into the flour and add enough tepid water to make a softish dough. Roll out to line and overlap a shallow tin.

Steam the potatoes because if you boil them they will be wet and in some cases disintegrate. Mash them and put aside.

While the potatoes are boiling you can fry the bacon or lardo if you are lucky enough to get it and then add the leeks and continue to fry until the leeks are soft. No need to colour the leeks.

Add to the mashed potatoes with the rest of the filling ingredients. mix well.
pile into the lined pastry dish and level out. Flip the overlap pastry over the torta and pat down
Cover the torta with an egg wash or if you are feeling mean then use milk.
score the top with the back of a fork to make a criss-cross pattern.

Cook in a fairly hot oven until it is well cooked underneath. Cover the top to prevent burning if necessary. In Italy it would have been cooked in a bread oven after the bread had been cooked and the oven had cooled.

Hope that you like this.

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