Pasta and potatoes is a relatively recent combination on Italian tables, considering that potatoes began to be popular in our countryside only after the unification of Italy, that is, 150 years ago. Later they became an obvious combination for a large number of people, that is, for all those who needed to feed themselves without spending a lot.
There pasta and potato soup It is typical of different regions, and in particular of Brands, Abruzzo (where, enriched with saffron, it was almost obligatory on Christmas Eve), Veneto, Friuli and Campania. There are recipes that are also considered typical of other regions, but are mainly based solely on potatoes, as in the case of Tuscany and Apulia. So it is common that here also, in family practice, pasta and potato soup is usually prepared by adding what is at home. Sometimes rice, sometimes spelled, sometimes croutons instead of pasta, as has always been the case and rightly so.
What we propose is pasta with potatoes. Brands Versionalthough almost identical to that of Abruzzo if the saffron is not taken into account.
The traditionally recommended pasta is split spaghetti, or something very similar, such as vermicelli or “maccheroncini alla guitar” from Abruzzo.
A characteristic of pasta and potatoes from the Marche region is the combination with Marjoram. An aromatic plant easily available in the countryside and that today can be found without difficulty in supermarkets: certainly dried, but it is now common to find it fresh among other aromas. The latter is the preferred one: Dried marjoram has a much more subdued aroma.either of the fresh. Which is also very easy to grow even in a pot, on the windowsill at home: it does not require special care.
Its aroma is vaguely similar to fresh oregano, but more delicate and complex. If you don’t have it, substitute it with a pinch of dried oregano and a tablespoon of chopped parsley.
Marjoram is used in all our regional cuisines, although the one that is most characterized by its aroma is undoubtedly Ligurian cuisine. Where it is the protagonist of numerous of the best-known preparations, such as Cima alla Genovese and Torta Pasqualina.
Also pairing with potatoes is frequent and appreciated. The sweet and slightly spicy flavor of marjoram pairs well with the neutral but full flavor of potatoes.
It is used to add delicious herbaceous notes to roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, potato and cheese cakes and of course many traditional pasta and potato recipes. And it is especially appreciated in potato soups, especially in combination with fatty lard or bacon stir-fries.
- 240 grams of potatoes
- 180 g spaghetti
- 40 g ham fat
- 1 medium onion
- 1 carrot
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 heaped tablespoon tomato paste
- Marjoram, about ten leaves.
- pecorino cheese
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Clean, peel and cut the potatoes into medium pieces: ideally into cubes between 1.5 and 2 cm on each side. After cutting them, soak them for 5 minutes in cold water, changing the water at least once.
- Break the spaghetti into pieces as much as you can: you should be able to make pieces about 3-3.5cm long.
- Prepare a mixture of butter, onion, carrot and garlic and cook for 7-8 minutes over low heat in a frying pan with 3 tablespoons of oil.
- Add the tomato paste dissolved in a glass of boiling water. Also add the marjoram and let it simmer for about ten minutes.
- Pour a liter of lightly salted boiling water into the saucepan and when it boils again, add the potatoes. Return to a boil and count exactly 5-6 minutes, then pour in the broken spaghetti and finish cooking. Estimate that in total the diced potatoes need to cook for about 15 minutes so that they are thoroughly cooked. Have a saucepan of boiling water ready, in case you need to dilute the broth a little. Turn off the heat and add 2 tablespoons of pecorino cheese.
- Pasta and potato soup should be served piping hot, seasoned with a generous pinch of freshly ground pepper. Leave more grated pecorino available to diners at the table