Who says pasta and potatoes don't go together? We love a carb on carb. I had this dish for the first time when I met my friend, artist Piero Golia, for the first time. Piero is from Napoli and is a quintessential Neapolitan. He introduced me to this carb bomb and we became fast friends. One of the cool things about this recipe is you can do it all in one pot.
1 lb medium-size longish pasta (We used strozzapreti. Rigatoni or penne work too)
3 large potatoes (russet or Yukon work well), peeled and cut into small 1/2 " cubes
2 bay leaf
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced 1 piece of celery (omit if you don't have it - I didn't)
3/4 c tomato purée (from a can - if it's paste, use less and add water)
Sauté the onion, celery, bay leaf, and garlic in a pan for 5 mins with olive oil and salt. Add the peeled potato cubes and cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomato purée, 1 cup water, and more salt. Both pasta and potatoes require a lot of salt, so be generous here. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Once the potato is 3/4 of the way cooked (almost there but not soft) add 1 cup boiling water. You should have a fair amount of liquid in the pot - this will make the sauce. The pasta will also absorb a lot of it. Make sure you have enough liquid, not so much that it looks like soup. Bring to a boil. Add the dry uncooked pasta and cook according to time on the package. Ours took 10 minutes. If it's looking dry, add more hot water and stir. Taste for salt. Serve with olive oil, pepper, and parmesan.
Originally published on December 8, 2022 in STUDIO LUNCH, the Gohar World text newsletter. Text "YUM" to 833-648-0911 or subscribe here to get the recipe first.