The other day, one of our friends was raving about the dinner he had made the night before and how his boys had loved it. It was a rich but delicious pasta dish, calling for bacon, cheese and potatoes.
Pasta? Bacon? Cheese? Potatoes? Of course, I asked him to tell me more.
The dish came from watching Lidia Bastianich on PBS that weekend:
The 200-year old L’Europeo, where I sampled pizza is also a restaurant and it has the most delicious rendition of a favorite Neapolitan dish-pasta, patate e provola. You can probably translate this yourself: Pasta, Potatoes and Provola Cheese-the kind of cheese we usually call provolone. All varieties of provola (there are many) are pulled-curd cheeses, like mozzarella, but after they are formed into pear shapes, they are hung to dry, and sometimes smoked. As they do with pizza, Neapolitans have strong opinions on what makes a good dish of pasta, patate e provola. As prepared by Bruno di Rosa’s mother Rita, It is considered a soup and eaten with a spoon. At L’Europeao it was definitely a pasta, dense and cheesy and full of flavor-with all the comforts of baked macaroni and cheese.
-Lidia Bastianich, Lidia’s Italy | Ditalini with Potatoes and Provola (lidiasitaly.com)
We had to try it! T jumped on his bike and pedalled furiously to get to the grocery store in time to buy a couple of plum tomatoes and some Provolone. Continue reading