Carolina’s Neapolitan Pasta and Potatoes
The reason to do an Erasmus+ semester is not (only) to add another university to your cv or go out partying every night for a whole semester, but to get to know new cultures. And the beautiful thing is, you don’t only get to know the culture of the country you’re staying at, but also of the home countries of the many friends you make there. And how lucky am I to have found amazing friends who share my love of food. So I’ve set a goal to learn as many new recipes from all over Europe as possible.
Carolina is one of my friends from Italy. She cooked Neapolitan Pasta and Potatoes for us the other night. They were delicious! Lucky for you, she gave me the recipe to share on my blog!
So besides being an Erasmus student and part-time blogger I’m learning Italian words and phrases. They are quite random, to be honest, but I’m having fun!
A little lesson in Italian
So far, I’ve learned:
Come stai? = How are you?
padella = pan
pentola = pot
puntina = pin
I think I am very well prepared to go to Italy now!
Alora, let me tell you how to cook Carolina’s recipe!
The most typical pasta for making Neapolitan Pasta and Potatoes is “pasta mista”, literally ‘mixed pasta’, which is a mix of different short types of pasta with the same cooking time. Also quite common for this and similar dishes is “pasta spezzata”, or ‘broken pasta’: long pasta shapes like spaghetti or linguini, broken up by hand into short lengths. Or you can use any other small type of pasta.
It is a type of salumi made by curing strips of fatback with rosemary and other herbs and spices.
Just simply skip the Lardo or Bacon and make sure to get a vegetarian kind of Parmesan and you have a great vegetarian meal!
Read the Neapolitan Pasta and Potatoes recipe below the picture!
Neapolitan Pasta and Potatoes
- 4 big potatoes
- 400 g pasta
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 onion
- a few sprigs of rosemary
- salt and pepper
- Parmesan cheese to taste
- a parmesan rind
- olive oil
- Lardo or bacon optional
- To prepare the Neapolitan Pasta and Potatoes, start by finely chopping celery, carrot and onion (that is known in Italian as a “soffritto”). Peel and wash the potatoes and cut them into cubes.
- Then pour a generous amount of olive oil into a large pot and add the pork lardo (or if you don’t have it, you can replace it with bacon) and let it heat over a low heat for a few minutes. Add the chopped onion, celery and carrot. After a few minutes, add the potatoes and let them cook for a few minutes, stirring to avoid burning the bottom. Add also rosemary, parmesan rind (first washed and scratched the outside), salt and pepper.
- When you’re done, give everything a good turn. Add enough hot water to cover it all and close it with a lid. Let the potato cubes simmer for about 30 minutes until they are almost tender. Add boiling water when needed.
- Then, when the potatoes are tender, crush part of them with the back of the wooden spoon and add the pasta in the pot. Immediately add enough hot water to cover it all and let the pasta simmer over a moderate flame, stirring from time to time to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add boiling water as needed to keep things loose and liquid.
- At the end of cooking the pasta and potatoes must be creamy and almost dry. Then eliminate the rosemary.
- When things are just about done, add grated Parmesan cheese to taste and stir everything. Taste and adjust for seasoning.