Potato, tomato and mascarpone bake

In Little Italy, the Italian area of New York, the food was authentic and generous at our favourite small restaurant. It was here that I first tasted the delicious combination of potatoes, tomatoes and anchovies. This is my own version - a simple recipe, which can be made ahead and kept warm in a low oven. It goes well with almost anything.

Ingredients

  • 750 g potatoes
  • 625-750 g plum tomatoes
  • 50 g tin anchovy fillets in olive oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 250 g mascarpone
  • 50 g piece Parmesan cheese
  • butter for greasing
  • sea salt, black pepper

Method

Heat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Peel the potatoes and steam or boil until cooked through but not falling apart. Let them cool slightly and then slice fairly thinly. Pierce each tomato with the tip of a sharp knife, then put them into a bowl, cover with boiling water and leave for a minute or two before draining. Now peel the tomatoes and slice fairly thickly across. Cut the anchovies across into small pieces. Peel the garlic and slice across finely.

Generously butter a large, shallow ovenproof dish. Put a layer of potato slices on the bottom, sprinkle with some of the anchovy and garlic pieces and follow with a layer of tomato slices. Continue alternating in this way, finishing with a layer of potatoes. Stir a little salt and a generous sprinkling of pepper into the mascarpone, then spread on top of the potatoes and grate the Parmesan coarsely over the top. Bake near the top of the oven for 45-60 minutes, until the top is speckled brown all over.

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