Ooey gooey melted mozzarella as well as the sweetness of cherry tomatoes elevate this simple roast potato dish to a whole new level. It will immediately become your new potato recipe!
Trapani Style Potatoes Vastase is one of the simplest, yet incredibly flavourful, roast potato dishes I have ever tasted. Of course, when I first had the opportunity to enjoy this dish I was sitting in this beautiful outdoor dining area in the province of Trapani, Sicily last summer enjoying a feast of wood burning pizza.
You can read all about that amazing trip here.
Why potatoes vastase?
In this part of Sicily, this dish is referred to as patate vastase. I have never heard of the word before! In fact I questioned my relatives in Sicily as well as my mother and they have also never heard of this word. Therefore, I’m assuming it must be a local dialect word in the province of Trapani. In my research I learned that it means rude or immoral.
How or why a potato dish could ever be considered rude, I have no idea! Unfortunately I did not find any relevant explanation for this. But to be true to the origins of this dish, I went ahead and called it Trapani Style Potatoes Vastase. And it really doesn’t matter what it is called as long as you know how delicious and easy it is to make.
How to make Trapani Style Potatoes Vastase:
Preheat your oven to 400F.
Begin by peeling and cutting into cubes 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of potatoes. This would be approximately 6 large potatoes. Thinly slice 2 onions and combine both ingredients in a roasting pan. Drizzle generously with olive oil, add salt and pepper and toss to combine.
Bake for 40 minutes, give the potatoes a stir halfway through. Meanwhile, slice mozzarella into thin slices as shown and then cube. Halve cherry tomatoes.
Remove the pan from the oven and scatter halved cherry tomatoes and mozzarella pieces over the potato/onion mixture. Sprinkle with dried oregano.
Return the pan to the oven and bake for 10 minutes longer, until the mozzarella has melted and the tomatoes have blistered. Serve hot or warm.
You can serve this potato dish as an appetizer, side dish or main dish. It is delicious whether it is hot or warm. We enjoyed it as an appetizer before the pizza was served. Serving a starchy dish prior to pizza may seem odd, but it was all so perfect together!
If you’re not fond of oregano, try substituting one of your favorite herbs such as rosemary or thyme.
I have another great suggestion as to how I would enjoy this dish. Although I must admit, most Italians would probably be against it. I think it would make a great brunch dish served with a fried egg on top. Can you just picture it? Mother’s Day is around the corner and this is definitely a dish to be considered!
No matter how you choose to serve this dish, it is a must try! It will become your new favorite potato recipe. Please let me know how much you enjoyed it by sharing with me your photos on Facebook or Instagram by adding #mangiabedda or @mangiabedda. Don’t forget to Pin the recipe for later!
- 1 kg potatoes (2.2 lbs)
- 1 large onion
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese cubed or shredded
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- Preheat oven to 400F. Peel and cut potatoes into cubes. Thinly slice onions. Combine both ingredients in a baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to combine.
- Bake for 40 minutes. Stir the potatoes halfway through.
- Meanwhile, rinse cherry tomatoes and cut in half. Cut mozzarella into cubes. Alternately, you can shred it with a cheese grater.
- Remove the baking pan from the oven and top the potatoes evenly with the halved cherry tomatoes and mozzarella. Sprinkle with oregano.
- Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes longer until the mozzarella has melted and the tomatoes are blistered. Serve hot or warm.