Polpette di Patate (Potato Cutlets)
“Facilissimo” (super simple) is how we would describe this dish.
Different versions of these potato cutlets are made all over Italy - some omit the garlic; others use mint in place of parsley; each region uses their local variety of cheese; and in Palermo they make an eggless version of this called “cazzilli”.
This is how we make them at home.
Many fry the cutlets in extra virgin olive oil, but I personally find it tends to make them too oily and much heavier. I prefer to use a lighter oil like sunflower or peanut. Canola would work too.
Ingredients (for 4)
600g potatoes (old potatoes work better for this)
90g fine breadcrumbs (if you only have the panko style, grind them finely before using)
80g grated caciocavallo or other sharp or semi-sharp cheese
A small bunch of parsley, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, minced finely
1 egg (you can replace this with 1 tbsp chickpea flour for an eggless version)
Salt and pepper to taste
Sunflower or peanut oil for frying
Boil or steam the potatoes until fork-tender. Allow them to cool, then peel off the skin.
Transfer them to a wide bowl and mash them with a fork or potato masher. Add all the other ingredients, except for the oil, and mix well to combine.
Note: the amount of breadcrumbs and grated cheese will vary slightly based on the variety of potatoes used, as each will absorb moisture differently. So adjust accordingly - your mixture should hold its shape and not fall apart when pressed in your palm.
Rest the mixture in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a pan to just before its smoking point. Grease or wet your hands, then take small amount of your potato mixture and shape it into cutlets. Traditionally, we give them an oval shape but that’s totally up to you.
Fry them in batches and drain excess oil on kitchen paper.
They taste great hot. But they are even better cold, and taste wonderful the next day!!
Word of the Day
(Potato, pronounced pa·tà·ta)