While many have no problem seeing potatoes in Irish and English food ( Corned Beef and Cabbage is an English dish), people have problems thinking of potatoes in Italian dishes. I think it is because of our American concept of what Italian food is , or should be. Italians had a longer growing season than the Irish, less rocky soil and no political reasons for small farms . As a result had a lot more potatoes to play with as well as more ingredients to combine them with. The result was a more flavorful dish. Potatoes even wound up in a form of pasta called Gnocchi. This tasty little cross between a pasta and a dumpling makes for a tasty comfort food option, to be sure !
Gnocchi with garlic and sage butter
2 12 oz packages potato gnocchi
¼ c butter
1 clove garlic, de-germed and minced
10 leaves fresh sage , chopped
¼ t salt
¼ t pepper
¼ c grated Parmesan cheese plus 2 T for sprinkling
Bring large pot of water to he boil . Add gnocchi and cook until they float to the surface. Drain. Melt butter in a skillet, and add garlic. Cook till golden , then add sage, salt and pepper, toss a minute, add cooked gnocchi, toss and add ¼ cup cheese. Toss. Sprinkle with remaining 2 T cheese and serve.
Now my mind is contemplating the awesome possibilities of a slow roasted lamb breast served over gnocchi , or something like that. Fusion flavor- like so many of us Americans with roots tracing back to unlikely sounding cultural combinations . It could happen.