Patate e Pomodori

Potato and Tomato Gratin

Although this recipe is from Ferrara, it is of Spanish Sephardic origin. This gratin can be cooked slowly on top of the stove in a heavy pan or in a baking dish in the oven. If the tomatoes give off too much liquid, reduce the juices over high heat or bake uncovered for the last 10 minutes to evaporate them. If the tomatoes don’t give off enough liquid and the potatoes are still undercooked, add a little stock or water to the pan. The gratin is usually served at room temperature.

Ingredients

  • 4 or 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1½ to 2 pounds large, ripe tomatoes, sliced ¼ to ⅓-inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 2 pounds waxy potatoes, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 cup water or broth, or as needed (optional)

Method

If baking in an oven, preheat to 350 degrees F. Oil a large gratin dish.

In a small dish, stir together the garlic and parsley to form a battuto. Place a layer of one-third of the tomato slices in the bottom of the prepared dish or in an oiled large, heavy, deep frying pan, preferably cast iron, if cooking on the stove top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add a sprinkling of about one-fourth of the battuto and a spritz of olive oil. Top with a layer of half of the potato slices. Sprinkle with another spritz of olive oil. Layer with half of the remaining tomatoes, some salt and pepper, half of the remaining battuto, and a drizzle of olive oil. Top with all the remaining potato slices, then the remaining tomatoes, the remaining battuto, salt, pepper, and a spritz of olive oil. Cover the gratin dish or frying pan.

Place the dish in the oven or the pan on the stove top over medium-low heat. Cook until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart, about 30 minutes. If the potatoes are still undercooked at that point and there is not enough liquid in the pan to cook them, add water or broth as needed. If, in contrast, the tomatoes have given off too much liquid, uncover the dish or pan, and cook until the liquids are absorbed. Serve warm.