Originally a French dish known as Pommes Anna, this simple recipe has been adopted in northern Italian cuisine (but updated with the addition of cream and Parmesan cheese). Patata Anna is easy to make and serves as an excellent accompaniment to meat or vegetarian dishes.
Recipe by Omar Scarabello of il Tartufo
Photograph by Curtis Gallon
- 100g waxy potatoes, peeled and very finely sliced
- 60g (4 tbsp) butter
- 50ml fresh cream
- 20g Parmesan
- 2g fine salt
- 2g ground white pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
With a sharp knife, mandoline or box grater, slice the potatoes as thinly as possible.
Put the potato slices in a colander and rinse under running water to get rid of the starch. Place on a kitchen towel in a single layer and pat dry.
Generously grease the base of an ovenproof pan or baking dish with melted butter.
Arrange the potato slices in the baking dish in overlapping, concentric circles, brushing butter over each layer, drizzling with cream and Parmesan, and seasoning with salt and pepper.
Repeat the layers twice more, drizzling each with a little melted butter, cream, grated cheese and seasoning with salt and pepper.
Cover with greaseproof paper or foil or a lid and bake in the oven for 45 minutes or up to 1 hour. Test with a skewer to see if the potatoes are done.
Serve warm and cut into wedges, sprinkled with more Parmesan, like a cake or quiche.
As this dish is inverted, it is important that the first layer of potatoes be attractively arranged. Select perfect slices, and overlap them carefully. This dish is best cooked in a copper or cast iron omelette pan. Alternatively, use a deep baking dish (or smaller baking dishes for individual plating). Patate Anna can either be made up as one large portion or as individual servings. A smaller version is more common in a restaurant environment where there are ‘plating up’ issues to consider, but a large portion is just fine for home. A watercress or parsley garnish adds colour. Nutmeg can be added to the seasoning, but the traditional way is to keep the seasoning simple to allow the flavours of the potatoes, butter and Parmesan to dominate.