Country women in Romagna used to bake these potatoes each week along with their homemade bread. Cloaked in olive oil and flavored with bits of cured pork, rosemary, garlic and tomatoes, the potatoes roasted near the opening of the big bread ovens, where the women could easily turn and baste them with the pan juices. The feast of the day was the crusty potatoes, fresh-baked bread, and homemade wine. Not a bad idea today, but these roasted potatoes are good with nearly everything ­ from a green salad to chicken to seafood.

Ingredients

From The Italian Country Table: Home Cooking from Italy's Farmhouse Kitchens by Lynne Rossetto Kasper.

Copyright 1999 by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Serves 4 to 6

Country women in Romagna used to bake these potatoes each week along with their homemade bread. Cloaked in olive oil and flavored with bits of cured pork, rosemary, garlic and tomatoes, the potatoes roasted near the opening of the big bread ovens, where the women could easily turn and baste them with the pan juices. The feast of the day was the crusty potatoes, fresh-baked bread, and homemade wine. Not a bad idea today, but these roasted potatoes are good with nearly everything ­ from a green salad to chicken to seafood.

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds medium Yellow Finn or red-skinned potatoes
  • 2 thick slices (about 2 ounces) cotechino sausage, soppressata, or pancetta, chopped
  • Leaves from a 6-inch branch fresh rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Generously oil a large shallow baking pan (such as a half-sheet pan or broiler pan). Cut the potatoes in half or into quarters and place them in the pan, rolling the pieces around to coat with oil, ending cut side up. Make sure they are in a single layer and barely touching. Drizzle the potatoes with another tablespoon of oil, then sprinkle with the cured meat, rosemary, and salt and pepper.

2. Roast 30 minutes, turning once or twice. Blend in the tomatoes and garlic. Roast about another 40 minutes, basting with the pan juices and turning for even browning. Once the potatoes are crisp and easily pierced with a knife, they’re done. Serve them hot or warm.

Instructions