Potato Torte Stuffed w/ Pancetta … “I Guarantee You Will Love It”

Napa chef Michael Chiarello combines shredded potatoes, onions, fresh thyme, and crispy pancetta to create this skillet potato cake – a dish he swears you’ll “love.” (Click here to see the recipe.) Chiarello was first served a version of this dish while living in Miami, where he liked to dine at a famous crab house.

“The waiters would literally run through the dining room with huge trays of stone crabs and plate after plate of skillet potato cake,”  he writes in his book At Home with Michael Chiarello (Chronicle Books, 2004), where this recipe appears.

“The potatoes, which were baked first and then turned into a cake, were amazing. This is my version, and I guarantee you will love it.” (Click here to see the recipe.)

To make the dish, russet potatoes are baked and allowed to cool.

Pancetta is sliced into thin strips and cooked in extra virgin olive oil – like our Everyday Fresh – until just crispy, and then removed from the skillet. More oil is added to the pan, which also contains the rendered fat of the pancetta, before sliced onions are added.

The onions are cooked until golden brown, and the pancetta is added back into the pan and cooked briefly before the pan is removed from the heat.

The cooled potatoes, meanwhile, are shredded on a box grater-shredder, and then tossed with extra virgin olive oil before half are added to a hot pan and  cooked for a couple of minutes.

Chopped fresh thyme is sprinkled on top of the grated potatoes followed by the reserved onion mixture. The remaining potatoes are added to the pan and gently pushed down to smooth out the torte.

The torte goes into a 375 degree Fahrenheit over for about 45 minutes, and is then allowed to cool slightly before being cut into warm wedges.

You’ve got serving options for this dish. “These can easily be made hours before and reheated in a 375°F for 15 minutes,” Chiarello notes.

For added flavor, give this hearty dish a finishing  drizzle of our our robust Miller’s Blend or Arbosana oils.

Bon appétit,

Your friends at California Olive Ranch