APULIAN POTATOE CAKE or PIZZA DI PATATE PUGLIESE

I think I have written in an earlier posting about Apulia and how much I like that part of Italy. I actually like all the parts I have been to so far but Apulia has a special place in my heart! One of the joys of visiting different parts of Italy is to discover the regional specialities that each place has to offer and this one I was offered at a party in the Apulian countryside. We were actually offered many many different dishes but this was the one that I went home and made in my own kitchen! Potatoes is an all time favourite and in this dish you not only get the smoothness of the potatoe mash but also the stronger and more svaoury taste of the sauce that you find between the layers of mash. And you can eat it hot or cold, it is nice both ways.



APULIAN POTATOE CAKE or PIZZA DI PATATE PUGLIESE

1 kg/ 35,3 oz potatoes that are good to mash
150 g/5,3 oz of small and firm zucchini
1 onion or 1 leek
3-4 ripe tomatoes
15-20 black olives, good genuine ones, that you chop.
1 ½ – 2 tblsp capers
salt
extra-virgin olive oil


– Boil the potatoes and steam the zucchini. Well you could actually boil them as well but they easily get soggy when you boil them in water so I prefer to steam them instead.
– While the boiling and steaming is going on, you fry the leek or the onion gently in olive oil and when it is beginning to be soft and transparent you add the chopped tomatoes and salt. If they are insipid or acid you add a bit of sugar and then you let it cook for 20 minutes.
– When the potatoes are ready you peel them if you have not already done that and mash them carefully, the best way to that is to use what I call a potatoe press but that is very probably not the right name for it but I think it is kind of descriptive though. Well press or mash it in a bowl, add 3 tblsp good olive oil and salt if needed and then you mix it properly.
– Oil (and if you want to be on the safe side you can use bread crumbs as well) a springform pan and spread out half of the mashed potatoes. Distribute the tomato and onion sauce evenly on top and the olives and capers on top of that before you spread out the zucchini that you have sliced. Now it is time to spread out the rest of the potatoes, then pat down to it give it a flat and even surface (sorry for the english there) that you giva a ‘brush’ of oil.
– Put the pan into the preheated oven (200°) for 20 minutes or until it is golden.
– Put the potatoe cake on a plate and serve it hot or cold, I like it both ways!

L