Ooey gooey melted mozzarella as well as the sweetness of cherry tomatoes elevate this simple oven roasted potato dish to a whole new level. Trapani Style Potatoes Vastase 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. How can you go wrong with crispy oven roasted potatoes with cheese, right?
When I first had the opportunity to enjoy this cheesy roasted potato 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.
What does potatoes vastase mean?
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 roasted 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.
Step by Step Instructions:
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!
Check out more delicious potato dishes!
- Italian Potato Salad with Roasted Red Peppers and Tomatoes
- Ham and Cheese Skillet Potato Focaccia
- Baked Tuna Potato Patties with Garlic Aioli
- Italian Meatball Stew with Potatoes and Peas
- Sauteed Broccoli with Potatoes
- Cheesy Swiss Chard and Potato Casserole
- Potato and Spinach Gateau
- Scacciata with Potato and Sausage Filling
- Pasta with Potatoes
- 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.
PS, they do taste good with fried egg!
Thanks for confirming this for me! I have yet to try it myself but I had not doubt it would be!
Excellent recipe! I cooked it on a baking sheet and it turned out lovely. My father was very impressed too. He’s tried for years to roast potatoes in an oven and never had much success, but your method worked!
The only complaint I have, and it’s a very minor one, was that some of the onions got burned. This may have been due to the fact that I used a baking sheet instead of a casserole dish. I opted for the sheet because I have a bad track record of cooking vegetables casserole dishes. They never seem to cook properly. But most of the onions were fine.
But at any rate, the recipe was delicious. I will definitely make it again and again for years to come!
Hi Vincent, I’m so glad to hear that your father was impressed! Yes, perhaps the onions were slightly burned because they were more spread out on a baking sheet whereas I had them more piled together in a casserole. But you can definitely add them halfway through cooking next time if you use a baking sheet again. So glad you like it, I know it’s now a favorite of mine too!
OMG yum! This dish sounds so good. And this Italian American agrees with you on the brunch idea with some eggs on top. What a way to start the day!
Hi Jenna, it is indeed a delicious yet so easy recipe. And, I can’t wait to try it with an egg on top. Let me know if you like it and thanks for stopping by my blog!
This does look good and I think oregano and potatoes is a combination made in Heaven. Apart from the mozzarella and tomatoes, this potato, onion baked dish, drizzled with EVOO and sprinkled with oregano was a standard from mama’s kitchen as a side and I have done it for years. I will try your version with the cheese and tomatoes for I think it will be all the more luscious. Thanks for sharing Nadia.
Hi Anna, I totally agree with you! Thanks for letting me know that this was a staple in your mama’s kitchen. I actually had it for the first time last summer but I can’t wait to share this recipe with my mom as well. I know it’s a keeper!