Layered Potatoes and Mushrooms with Two Cheeses

Fresh ricotta has a bland taste that comes into its own cooked in conjunction with more defined flavours.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (450 g) potatoes, cleaned and very thinly sliced
  • 2 oz (50 g) butter
  • 8 oz (225 g) mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 oz (175 g) ricotta cheese
  • 3 oz (75 g) Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Reserve the potatoes in cold salted water. Melt the butter and sauté the mushrooms with the garlic until just turning colour. Do not overcook. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid.

With a fork, mash the two cheeses together. Drain the potatoes and dry them well.

Butter a 9-inch pie dish and put a layer of potatoes at the bottom, then half the mushrooms. Spoon over some of the mushroom liquid and then spread the cheese mixture on top. Follow with another layer of mushrooms and lastly the potatoes. Season as you go and finish by pouring any remains of the mushroom liquid over the whole.

Cover with wet greaseproof paper and bake at gas mark 7/425°F/220°C for 45 minutes.

‘A harvest dinner was given by a landlord to his tenantry … Great was the work of destruction going on upon huge mounds of beef, joints of pork and mutton, pyramids of greens and potatoes, enormous puddings, pies of Brobdingnag dimensions, jugs of beer and jars of teetotal temperance cordial. One man had a plate before him which was piled high with contributions from every dish on the table, a large slice of plum pudding resting very amicably beside a goodly segment of corned beef, flanked with greens. Still he seemed not quite satisfied – there was evidently something wanting to complete his happiness. He had not potatoes.’

From ‘Letters from the Coast of Clare’, Dublin University Magazine.

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