I saw these rich, vibrant potatoes on Girlichef’s blog a few weeks ago. When I spotted them in my own market I was elated. Seeing that the bin was almost empty I quickly snatched them up. I had never eaten or even seen such beauties before! Or maybe it was that I never noticed them before. Food blogging makes me sit up and take notice of unusual food.
I had a plan for them, a plan that didn’t pan out because as I was browsing through one of my Italian cookbooks I turned to a recipe involving potatoes and noodles. My first thought wasn’t about taste but on how dramatic the dish would look with the purple potato against the creamy whiteness of the pasta and sauce. Pleasing to the eye and a showcase for the pretty potato which deserved to be the star of the show.
This was just as impressive tasting as it is pretty. My Dad asked me “Why does this make me want to keep eating?” Which meant that he had more than enough but was having trouble putting the fork down. It’s that kind of dish. The potato gems nestle snugly in between the wide strands of fettuccine covered in generous amounts of cheesy garlic sauce infused with fresh basil. Another reason why I love this is the ingredients are basic pantry items that come together to make an extremely satisfying, yet very simple dish.
Potatoes and Noodles with Parmesan Garlic Sauce
(semi-adapted from 1001 Classic Italian Recipes by Christina Gabrielli)
1 pound small New Potatoes or small Purple Potatoes
Salt and fresh ground Pepper
12 ounces Tagliatelle, Fettucine or Linquini
Fresh Romano or Parmesan for grating over top
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
5 cloves Garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Butter
1/4 cup all-purpose Flour
2 cups Whole Milk
1/2 cup Parmesan, fresh grated
6 or 7 Basil leaves, fresh, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried
Boil the potatoes in their skins 10-15 minutes until tender. Drain, cool, and slice into 1 /4 inch-thick slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Cook the pasta according to package directions. In the mean time make the sauce.
In a tablespoon of Olive oil saute the garlic in a medium saute pan about 3 minutes on low heat. Add the butter, melt and add the flour. Whisk and cook the flour mixture about three minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk. Bring to a simmer while whisking, when thickened add Parmesan and basil. Remove from heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper. If sauce becomes too thick whisk in a bit of the pasta water.
Mix the pasta and sliced potatoes together. Pour the sauce over the noodles. Sprinkle with grated cheese and serve immediately.