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bowl of pasta with potatoes surrounded by pot, spoon and cheese bowl

Pasta with Potatoes (pasta e patate)

Pasta with potatoes is the ultimate cucina povera dish (or peasant food), that is transforming a few basic and inexpensive ingredients into a flavorful satisfying dish, all in one pot! It's the perfect last minute dinner recipe.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword pasta with potatoes, pasta e patate
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings
Calories 436kcal


  • 5 cups simmering water
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil plus extra for drizzling
  • 500 grams potatoes peeled and cubed (about 3 large potatoes)
  • ½ cup tomatoes can be either a fresh tomato or canned whole, diced or tomato puree
  • 250 grams pasta any small shape such as ditalini, tubettini, or a mix of pasta shapes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • freshly grated Parmigiano cheese or Pecorino Romano for serving


  • Bring 5 cups of water to a simmer in a small sauce pan.
  • Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan. Add diced onion and sauté on medium high heat until soft and golden, about 5 minutes.
  • Add cubed potatoes, a pinch of salt, and cook stirring to coat the potatoes in the oil, 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, a pinch of salt, and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add 2 cups of simmering water or enough to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook covered for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
  • Uncover and add the pasta, a pinch of salt and 1 cup of water. Cook at a gentle boil, stirring frequently until the pasta is al dente.
  • Add more simmering water, as needed, to cook the pasta and according to taste. If you want a thicker pasta with potatoes add less water, for a 'soupier' version add more water.
  • Correct the seasoning as needed. Drizzle a little olive oil on top and serve hot with grated Parmigiano or Pecorino Romano cheese.


Substitutions and Variations:
-If you want to add more veggies to your pasta with potatoes, sauté a finely diced carrot and celery stalk along with the onion.
-To add more flavor (although it is already quite flavorful!) substitute vegetable or chicken stock for the water. Be sure to adjust the amount of salt added as some stocks have a substantial amount of salt added.
-Add herbs to flavor your dish such as a bay leaf (remove before serving); fresh rosemary or thyme to your pasta with potatoes.
-Add a Parmigiano rind at step #4, while the potatoes are simmering. Be sure to remove it before serving. Once again, adjust the amount of salt added.
-Stir cubed cheese such as mozzarella, provola or caciocavallo into the sauce pan just before serving for an extra cheesy dish.
For a thick and creamy texture, when the dish is ready mash a few of the potatoes with the back of your wooden spoon and stir.
Leftovers keep well refrigerated for up to 3 days.


Calories: 436kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 735mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 158IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 2mg