Sformato di Patate – Potato Pie
This recipe is an assembling of various simple vegetables, but the result of the mix is ten times better than the individual ingredients themselves. There is this multiplicator effect resulting from a perfect marriage of flavors, all very summery and fresh. It is moreover a vegan recipe, as often the case with Italian dishes, as we rarely use butter with vegetables.
The secret of the perfect amalgama of flavors is because each vegetable is first cooked on its own, then assembled with the others, and finally baked for quite a long time in the oven.
This dish gives the satisfaction of a main dish, with a high content of antioxidants from zucchini, potatoes and tomatoes; it’s low in fat and rich in vitamins. Potatoes contain a kind of resistant starch that feeds the healthy gut bacteria, and helps preventing or treating irritable bowel syndrome.
It is also a dish that can be prepared ahead of time and reheated in the oven, or simply consumed at room temperature, making it perfect for a picnic at the beach.
For 8 portions
5-6 large yellow potatoes, washed and sliced thin with the mandolin or with the food processor attachment
5 large dark green zucchinis
5 tomatoes on the vine or Rome tomatoes, naturally ripened
2 shallots, sliced
A bunch of basil
1 quart homemade marinara sauce
Extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper
1. Turn on the oven on convection bake @ 375
2. Spread the potatoes in one layer on 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
3. Drizzle some EVOO, adjust with salt and pepper, roast for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes start to turn golden brown
4. In the meantime, slice the tomatoes and the zucchini, repeat the same process. Zucchini will cook faster, in about 10-12 minutes
5. In the meantime, sauté the sliced shallots with 1-2 tbsp olive oil, until translucent
6. Lightly oil an ovenproof baking dish. Spread 3-4 tablespoons of marinara sauce on the bottom
7. Spread the cooked potatoes in one layer; add 2-3 tbsp of marinara sauce
8. Cut roughly 3-4 basil leaves and sprinkle them on the sauce.
9. Transfer 1/3 of the sliced tomatoes, spacing them out
10. Spread out approximately 1/3 of the sliced zucchini, then the shallots
11. Repeat the layers, finishing with the potatoes; cover with tomato sauce; bake @360 for 30-40 minutes, until the center is piping hot
A Few Notes:
- You can as always unleash your creativity and make this dish with different vegetables – I would always use potatoes as a base layer though.
- The secret to the success of this recipe is all in the pre-cooking of each kind of vegetable.
- It is an amazing vegan dish, but if you are really looking for something more nutritious you could add chopped mozzarella cheese and / or parmigiano in between the layers.
Elisabetta Ciardullo is the founder of Think Italian! Events. As Personal Chef she is an ambassador of the Italian cuisine and culture, bringing it into the private homes of Americans, as well as to many corporate clients in Los Angeles.