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Carlo Middione's Zuppa di Patate (Potato Soup)
Makes 6 servings

1 1/2 pounds russet type potatoes

Salt to taste

Extra virgin olive oil q.b.

3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine

1 or 2 branches of fresh rosemary about 4inches long

1 pound fresh ripe tomatoes, cored and crushed or use canned

3 ounces short pasta such as paternostri, conchiglietti, or

rigatoncini, or break up some perciatelli or spaghetti

1/3 cup grated pecorino cheese q.b.

Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut them in quarters lengthwise, then slice them
about 3/16inch thick. Boil 1 1/2 quarts of best quality water in a soup pot and
add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Add the sliced potatoes and boil them until they are
done but still intact.

Meanwhile, heat about 4 teaspoons olive oil in a skillet and saute the rosemary
branches whole for about 2 minutes. Crush them now and then during cooking
with a wood spoon to release flavor. Add the garlic until it is light gold and
smells fragrant. Add the tomatoes and a pinch of salt and let the mixture
simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the tomato mixture to the potatoes and bring it to the simmer;
let it cook for about 10 minutes. Add the pasta and cook another 8 minutes or
until it is al dente.

To prepare ahead you can make the recipe totally except for adding the pasta. Cook it separately for 6 minutes, rinse it, cool it, drain it very well, lightly oil it
and store until needed. When you want to serve the soup, add the pasta and
heat it. Serve it piping hot. Sprinkle on grated pecorino cheese.

Carlo's Note: This soup is also delicous cold (not ice-cold but a little cooler
than room temperature). It is great as a summer dish. You could make it hot
one night, then have it cold for lunch a day or two later. If it is served cold I
love to put a good shot of gin into it – sort of like a chunky Bloody Mary. It is
amazingly good!

Copyright Carlo Middione 1995 All rights reserved

Check out Carlo's restaurant Vivande on Fillmore Street in San Francisco

 

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