HELLO - we are back from a BIG summer season - this year we added a 4th room and we have been blessed with guests from all over the world stopping in Todi for a few relaxing days in the Umbrian country side and our medieval town....
So let's start the season of blogging with the celebration of the New Olive Oil.....
But the quality this year is amazing - deep green colour and a strong grassy perfume with hint of tomato leaves and artichokes - the colour is just amazing - right now it looks like something you would pump into a car.
So what better way to taste and celebrate the new oil - then with some simple and tasty food - the oil have to take center place these first couple of weeks...so try and keep seasonings simple and not too strong - but let the oil give the spice and heat to the dish.....
Every year, when we get the new oil - we always look for new dishes from the rustic and simple Cucina Povera - where few ingredients will make the dish shine.....This year's new discovery is from Tuscany - but is could actually be from all over the middle part of bella Italia.....The classical Pasta e Patate....a dish everybody should learn how to cook - it's simple, easy, cheep and so tasty......and very often you have all the ingredients in your cupboard.....so no need for shopping...this is also the perfect dish to use up all your small leftover bags of dried pasta, you probably have hanging around in your cupboard - we have for sure.....the parmesan crust in the recipe will add lots of flavour to the soup - again an old trick - kind of a natural stock cube - so never waste your rind or crust from the parmesan.
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves only
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tbsp passata or tomato sauce
600 ml water
100 g short pasta
1 piece of parmesan crust
Sea salt and black pepper
garted parmesan to serve
a squeeze if lemon juice
lots of new olive oil or a strong flavoured oil e.g from Umbria or Tuscany
Pour oil into a medium pan and add onion, garlic and rosemary. Cook on low to medium heat from 15 minutes without taking colour - you just want to soften and sweeten the onions. Add potatoes and passata. Stir to mix all the flavours, then pour in the water - you want it just to cover the potatoes.
Cook over medium heat from 10 minutes, then add the pasta and the parmesan crust. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cook the soup for about 10-15 minutes until the pasta is cooked and the potatoes are tender and starting to break down and thicken the soup. Stir once in a while.
Remove from the heat, fish out the parmesan crust, season with more salt and pepper and a little lemon juice. Ladle into soup bowls and generously drizzle the new olive oil over the soup......