Rustic Potato Cake Torta Rustica Di Patate

Serves 6

1kg (2lb 4oz) floury potatoes
55g (2oz) cooked ham, cut into cubes
25g (1oz) buffalo mozzarella cheese cut into small cubes
150g (5½oz) Provola cheese (smoked mozzarella), cut into small cubes
55g (2oz) Parmesan, freshly grated
4 medium eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
A knob of unsalted butter
4 tablespoons dried white breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

When we were children, if we had this rustic potato cake for lunch or dinner, we knew the larder or refrigerator had been thoroughly raided.  A piece of salami or ham here, a piece of cheese for flavour there, eggs, parsley, salt and pepper.  We were always quite happy about my mother’s choice.  She was best at producing the cake; we were best at eating it!

When we were children, if we had this rustic potato cake for lunch or dinner, we knew the larder or refrigerator had been thoroughly raided.  A piece of salami or ham here, a piece of cheese for flavour there, eggs, parsley, salt and pepper.  We were always quite happy about my mother’s choice.  She was best at producing the cake; we were best at eating it!

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas4)

Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, then drain and peel them.  Pass them through a potato ricer (or sieve) to make a purée with the ham, mozzarella, Provola, Parmesan, beaten eggs, parsley and some salt and pepper.

Use the butter to grease a round cake tin 25cm (10 inches) in diameter, and dust with some of the breadcrumbs.  Spoon the potato mixture into this, and press gently with a fork to give some shape.  Sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumbs, then trickle over the olive oil.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until browned on top.  Serve in slices.  The cake is very good warm, but also excellent cold.

This recipe is from The Collection