A wonderful ingredient that can be used for a diverse variety of dishes and side dishes. My famiglia uses potatoes for everything from roasted with herbs and garlic as an accompaniment to roasted or grilled meats and chicken, making potato gnocci, our delicious famiglia recipe potato salad and more.
Mashed potatoes are a side dish that Mammina Loreta learned to eat after coming to the U.S., she still prefers roasted or even a simple baked potato as it is more flavorful. I am always looking for new and flavorful ways to prepare potatoes for my famiglia.
I have found many recipes in the past years for potatoes called “smashed” that uses fingerling or small red potatoes that are boiled with the skins on and then smashed, seasoned and baked in the oven resulting in a crunchy delicious potato dish. Love this idea.
I like to use a varietal mix of fingerling or small potatoes that contain potato varieties like All Blue, Red Thumb, Russian Banana and more.
I created this version using one of my most favorite ingredients gifted to me by my lovely friend Maria C. who was born and raised in the gorgeous country of Spain.
She brought me some of her country’s legendary sweet paprika sourced from an area in Spain called La Vera.
Pimentón de la Vera and I fell instantly in love; it is made from peppers grown, dried and ground into this stunning bright red sweet and smoky spice that I add to pretty much everything I cook or eat.
I use this in my meat dishes, for side vegetables, scrambled and poached egg dishes, even frittatas made with sweet bell peppers and potatoes. yum.
This paprika adds a subtle sweetness and amazing smoky flavor without overwhelming your ingredients. Use this spice to your personal taste; my personal preference is to always add a bit more than less as I love it so.
smashed potatoes with pimenton & manchego cheese
1-1 1/2 pound of small or fingerling potatoes (varietal mix of colors); unpeeled and washed
salt and pepper
fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
fresh cilantro (if desired)
manchego cheese (grated in large flakes)
In a large stockpot add the scrubbed, unpeeled potatoes to boiling water and cook until fork tender. Drain carefully and set aside to cool.
Set on a large baking sheet and continue to smash all the potatoes until done.
Season both sides with salt and pepper to taste; sprinkle the pimenton de la vera on both sides to taste.
Drizzle liberally with olive oil and place in a preheated 450 degree oven to roast for about 15-20 minutes until the potatoes begin to brown and the edges are very crispy.
The manchego cheese will melt a bit, then you can plate them and serve immediately with extra cheese on the table if desired.
I love these as a side dish, snack or even as a special addition to breakfast or brunch.
Note: You can store these in the refrigerator for a few days, but do reheat them in an oven or toaster oven to keep their crispy crunch and texture.
Flavor Tip: Feel free to top these with a fresh dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream and top with more parsley, cilantro or chopped chives.
Note: Photography provided by Annette L. Venditti