Thursday, January 2, 2014

Italian Potato Pie

When I first met my husband I discovered that he really loved Italian food.  Since I love to cook, I wanted to impress him with cooking good food for him, however, his family does not make Italian food from Italy, they make immigrant Italian food.  Once I realized the kind of food he loved I searched for a cookbook to give me ideas of what I could make for him that would be more similar to the food he was accustomed to eating.  I came across a recommendation for an out-of-print cookbook called Elodia Rigante's Italian Immigrant Cooking.  Never before have I read a cookbook that sometimes measures garlic in cups (see below).  However, everything which I have tried out of this cookbook has turned out very good.  Watch the portion sizes though as this states that it serves 6, but I really think it would serve 8 especially if you have other things to eat like a nice green salad.  This will also reheat well as long as your Parmesan or Romano cheese is thinly shredded instead of big pieces.

Italian Potato Pie
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons water

In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt.  Work the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or your fingertips until the flour mixture is in small crumbs.  Add the water and mix to form into a ball.  Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.  Roll out the dough and then press into a large pie dish.  Set aside.

Potato Layer:
6 cups potatoes, cubed
1 cup cream, 2% milk, half & half
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste

Cover the potatoes with water in a large pot.  Bring to a boil and boil until tender.  Pour the potatoes into another bowl and whip them with the half & half, olive oil and butter until fluffy.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.   (As an alternative you can use an immersion blender and save a bowl.)

Tomato Layer:
6 cups tomatoes, diced
2 1/2 cups diced Mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon oregano
2 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Stir all ingredients together and set aside.

Bread Crumb Layer:
4 cups fine Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup olive oil
1 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
1/8 cup minced garlic
1/2 cup parsley
2 eggs

In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 F. 
Spread one half of the whipped potato mixture over the pie crust.  Add half of the tomato mixture, then one half of the bread crumb mixture.  Repeat the layering in the same order with the second half of each mixture.  Bake the pie until the crust and the bread crumbs are golden brown, which should be about 30 minutes.  Slice and serve hot, though this does reheat well.

Serves 6

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