Patate e Cipolle alla Pizzaiola

Baked Potatoes and Onions with Tomatoes and Oregano

When we say a dish is alia pizzaiola—pizza style—we don’t have mozzarella in mind; we mean with tomatoes and oregano. In this instance, potatoes and onions are sliced into rounds, coated with olive oil and oregano, topped with diced fresh tomatoes, and baked. The oregano-spiked aroma may recall pizza, but the honest taste of fresh tomatoes and good olive oil is, alas, one it shares with no corner-store pizza I know.

Ingredients

  • pounds boiling potatoes
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing the baking pan
  • Salt
  • Black pepper in a grinder
  • teaspoons dried oregano, or teaspoons fresh
  • 1 pound yellow onions
  • 5 or 6 ripe, fresh plum tomatoes, or equivalent quantity of other tomatoes

Method

  1. Peel the potatoes, slice them into ¼-inch-thick disks, soak them in cold water, and then dry them thoroughly with kitchen towels.
  2. Turn on the oven to 400°.
  3. Put the sliced potatoes in a bowl together with ¼ cup of the olive oil, salt, a liberal grinding of pepper, and half the oregano. Toss well to coat the potato slices evenly.
  4. Peel the onions and slice them into rounds ¼ inch thick.
  5. Peel the tomatoes, discard the seeds, and cut the tomatoes into ½-inch squares. The yield should be 1 to 1½ cups.
  6. Choose a baking pan made of oven-to-table ware and grease the bottom with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  7. Place the sliced potatoes and onions in the pan making parallel rows of each, overlapping each slice roof-tile fashion. If at first there does not seem to be space for all the slices, bunch them a little closer together at a straighter angle.
  8. Spread the cut-up tomatoes over the potatoes and onions, adding some more salt and pepper and the remaining oregano.
  9. Pour the rest of the olive oil over the vegetables, spreading it evenly in a thin stream.
  10. Bake in the uppermost level of the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the potatoes and onions are tender when pricked with a fork. Serve directly from the baking dish.

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