Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Potatoes in a Pouch (Patate al forno in un sacchetto)

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I don't cook with enough fresh sage.

Italian cooks do love their herbs.  Seems every recipe I look at has a few leaves of this or that in the dish.  I have a windowsill garden that is doing OK considering the temperature just a few inches on the other side of the window.  But I only am growing Rosemary, Cilantro, Chives, Oregano and Thyme.  Even during the summer I do not grow any Sage and that has been a mistake.  If nothing else, I will use it up in this recipe which quickly moved up to a top spot in my potato file.

Like the title says, these are cooked in an aluminum pouch.  VERY simple technique, less than 5 minutes of prep time and they come out wonderful.  Mostly my memories of cooking with sage is in a turkey stuffing from my youth.  Very Earthy, savory and peppery taste that a little bit flavors a big dish.

The potatoes are cooked along with a few slices of Pancetta (Italian bacon, and sure you can substitute "regular" bacon, thick cut slices best).  The rendering bacon fat oozes into the potatoes while they are cooking adding a lot of flavor to this simple dish... Only 3 ingredients plus Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper, but a HUGE taste!

 Here's what I did...

Potatoes in a Pouch 
(Patate al forno in un sacchetto)

  • 1-2 Medium Red Potatoes per serving, quartered and sliced,
  • 1 TBS Olive Oil drizzle per serving
  • 1 Thick sliced Pancetta (bacon) per serving, chopped
  • 1 Leaf Sage per serving, rough chopped
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • Several turns of a Pepper Grinder
Cooking Directions
  1. OK, this recipe is easily adapted for 2 people to many many more. A wonderful side dish, but also could be an easy lunch.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  3. Take a large sheet of Aluminum Foil and form a pouch.
  4. Add the potatoes
  5. Drizzle Olive Oil and sprinkle the chopped sage
  6. Top with the bacon bits
  7. Seal the pouch
  8. Bake in the oven for 1 hour
  9. Check to make sure the potatoes are done, Remove from the pouch, mix to mingle the bacon bits
  10. Serve HOT and ENJOY!

So, potatoes flavored with sage and rendered bacon fat... What on Earth could be better???

I also liked the more unusual texture, nothing was crisped at all, the potatoes still had a bite to them, holding their shape while soft, tender and meaty throughout.  A WONDERFUL side dish for my left over Pork Loin Stuffed with Herbs!

UPDATE: I have made these again since I first posted.  Made for a large (8) people dinner party and they were ideal.  Easy to make, just do the prep work ahead of time.  Then put in the oven timed to come out just as you are ready to serve.  No fuss, no mess and DELICIOUS   Frees you up to handle the dozen other things needed to pull off a dinner party.


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Authentic Italian Recipes"!!!

Well over 52 recipes actually as I just can't stop. The world's most popular cuisine, authentic, natural, organic, Farm to Table... the Italians started, perfected or embraced it before it became a fad. This page is a guide to Italian Cooking... For the home cook!  So, Cin Cin (toast) and Buon Appetito (Enjoy your Meal) to you all and let's Cook authentic Italian!


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1 comment:

  1. Wow Dave - The stuffed loin and both potato dishes look and sound delicious.