|Mashed Potato Polpetti|
When I was a teenager a Mother's Pizzeria restaurant opened in our neighbourhood. Up until that time there had been only one pizzeria to serve the entire the city. Well maybe there were two..Luigi's and Pepi's. Pizza crust was served one way...thin crust but with any number of toppings imagineable. Certainly not the pizzas that our kids experience today, but closer to Napoli style. I think I was 11 when I tried my first pizza. My oldest brother brought it home whenever he had a craving. It was something that the whole family could enjoy including my vegetarian Dad. (In case you are wondering I have 2 brothers and a sister). Mother's restaurant served up what we associated with Italian cuisine which was anything with a red sauce...spaghetti and meatballs, oven baked lasagna and other pasta dishes. They even had the new kid on the block, and the latest craze at the time...Chicago-style deep dish pizza. As years have gone by those of us who did not grow up with an Italian "nonna" have discovered that Italian cuisine is not all about pasta and pizza.
Italian cuisine has developed through the centuries with roots as far back as the 4th century BC. Italy is a dream destination for anyone who loves food and drink. I have a trip in the works, so we will see what happens. Italians are also known for their use of herbs in cooking, especially oregano, basil, thyme, parsley, rosemary, and sage. Cheese also plays an important role. There are more than 400 types of cheese made in Italy, with Parmesan, mozzarella, and asiago among the best known worldwide. Can you imagine!
In spite of regional differences, Italian food in general is often characterized as being flexible and innovative. For example, no two gnocchi with Bolognese sauce will be quite the same from any two kitchens. First time travellers to Italy may be surprised on finding such an overwhelming diversity in regional foods. It is well worth sampling regional dishes for a bit of authenticity. When eating foods grown and raised in the surrounding countryside and complimented with the local wine, both your travelling and eating experiences will rise to a whole new level. The pride that the Italians have in their locally grown produce, regional specialties and exceptional wine is something that cannot be found at your local grocery store.
This "non-recipe" you find here is a potato dish that really requires only a simple technique. An Italian friend was making it one day and I have had it in mind ever since. I like to serve it for breakfast but she also recommends serving it with gravy. Is Italian gravy with tomato sauce:D It is so easy no real recipe is required.
**Mashed Potato Polpetti (Patties)**
3 cups mashed potatoes
Grey salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Flour, for dredging
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Re-season potatoes with salt and pepper, stir in cheese. Take a mayonnaise or peanut butter lid, line with plastic wrap to use as a mold. Pack the potato mixture into the lid, unwrap it and place the patty on a baking sheet. You may refrigerate them covered with plastic wrap until the next day, or fry immediately.
To cook, dredge the patties in flour. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, add patties. Just before frying, dredge the patties again with flour.
Add the patties to the oil without crowding them (you may have to cook them in batches). Cook until underside is golden brown, about 5 minutes, flip and brown the other side. Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels.
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