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Crispy Potatoes with Tangy Tomato Sauce (Patatas Bravas)

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Serves eight.

  • Make the menu:
    A Festive Tapas Party
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 81

Roasting the potatoes in a good amount of olive oil gives them a crispy fried flavor without the hassle of deep frying. The sauce can be made up to three days ahead.

For the sauce:
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion (1/2 small)
  • 1/3 cup chopped carrot (1 small)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 Tbs. dry white wine
  • 1/4 tsp. sweet pimentón (or paprika)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 cups canned tomatoes with juice, chopped coarsely
  • 3 large sprigs thyme
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. Tabasco, more to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. sherry vinegar
For the potatoes:
  • 2-1/2 lb. (about 8 medium) Yukon Gold, white, or red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces (no need to peel)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary (optional)

Make the sauce: In a small (1- or 2-quart) saucepan, heat the 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and let it reduce until almost evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the pimentón and cumin and stir for about 15 seconds. Add the tomatoes and juice, thyme sprigs, sugar, Tabasco, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and a few grinds of pepper.

Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, to reduce the sauce somewhat and intensify its flavor. This should take about 1 hour; depending on how much juice you started with, you may need to add up to 12 cup water during simmering to keep the consistency saucy rather than dry.

Fish out the spent thyme sprigs. Purée the sauce with an immersion blender or a regular blender until it’s smooth and creamy; you can thin with a little water if needed. Stir in the sherry vinegar. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. The sauce should be slightly spicy, and you should have about 1-1/2 cups.

Roast the potatoes: Heat the oven to 425°F. Toss the potatoes with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and the rosemary (if using) on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, turning the potatoes with a metal spatula every 15 minutes, until they’re browned and crisp outside and tender inside, about 45 minutes.

Put the potatoes in a serving dish and put the sauce in a small dish next to the potatoes, along with a spoon.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on eight servings; Calories (kcal): 260; Fat (g): fat g 16; Fat Calories (kcal): 140; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 2.5; Protein (g): protein g 3; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 27; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 310; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 0; Fiber (g): fiber g 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

The potatoes turned out perfect; crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, so soft it melts in your mouth. The sauce was also delicious and could be used on many other things like pasta.

Excellent recipe, and well tested. Scales up well. This "tangy tomato sauce" is really an all-purpose Spanish Mojo that compliments many dishes, such as pastas, meatballs, and even meatloaf.

The sauce is good but because we love roasted potatoes as such we weren't too crazy about this combination. The sauce would be good with other vegetables or meats. I used the leftover sauce next day and made it into a spaghetti sauce. To increase the volume I added a small can of plain, canned tomato sauce, a bit of dried oregano and basil, chopped leftover steak finely, heated it all up and then there was not a speck of leftovers left.

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