Potato Gratin with Peppers, Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato Sauce
(makes 1.1 litre volume gratin – serves 6)
I like to use Agria potatoes in this recipe. Serve with simple meat dishes such lamb chops, or as main dish in a main course.
1 tbsp olive oil
1.2kg (4-5) medium-sized potatoes (peeled and sliced thinly) ( a mandoline is a useful tool for this)
230g (1) red pepper (halved, grilled until charred, cooled, peeled and roughly chopped)
1 tsp flaky sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
155g Buffalo Mozzarella (thinly sliced and pulled apart into 3cm pieces)
500ml (2 cups) Italian-style Tomato Sauce
50g (3/4 cup) finely grated Parmesan
4-5 basil leaves (thinly sliced)
Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease with oil 1.1 litre volume oven-proof gratin.
Arrange a single layer of potatoes onto base of prepared gratin.
Scatter half of roasted pepper onto potato layer and season with a little of the salt and pepper.
Top with second layer potatoes and scatter Mozzarella over potatoes. Season with a little more salt and pepper.
Repeat first and second layers finishing with a layer of potatoes.
Pour tomato sauce over potatoes. Run a knife around edge of layered potatoes to encourage sauce to drizzle to base.
Cover gratin with aluminium foil and place into preheated oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until potatoes are cooked (Check by placing knife into centre of gratin. If knife goes through easily, gratin is cooked.)
Remove from oven.
To serve: Sprinkle with Parmesan and basil and serve hot. Alternatively cool and refrigerate to reheat at 150°C, without foil, for 15-20 minutes or until hot, then sprinkle with Parmesan and basil.
Italian-Style Tomato Sauce
If you wish use fresh tomatoes rather than tinned. There are many Italian brands of tasty tinned tomatoes available, possibly more cost effective than buying fresh. This recipe makes more sauce than required for the potato gratin. Freeze remaining sauce to use in pasta dishes or on pizza.
2 tsp unsalted butter
10ml (2 tsp) olive oil
25g (2) shallots (peeled and finely chopped) (or 15g finely chopped onion)
2 garlic cloves (peeled and finely chopped)
3/4 -1 fresh red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
2 + 1/2 x 400g tins tomatoes in juice (roughly chopped)
2 fresh bay leaves
1 tsp flaky sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Place a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and add butter and oil.
When butter has melted add shallots and cook for 1-2 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add garlic and chilli and cook for a further 2-3 minutes or until soft and pale. Do not brown.
Add tomatoes with their juice, bay leaves with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 40-45 minutes or until thick and saucy.
Remove bay leaves, cool and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Alternatively freeze for up to 3 months.