This recipe comes from the family-run trattoria-inn, Al Vescovo. Our lunch there was perfect trattoria, served by Michela, daughter of chef Bruna, all tradition, all seasonal, with superb winter squash gnocchi topped with pumpkin seeds and grated smoked ricotta, and a wonderful vegetable dish, mashed potatoes and cabbage flavored with garlic, vinegar, and pancetta. I asked Bruna for the recipe and she gave it to me, and added that I could use practically any vegetable with the potatoes.
• 2 ounces pancetta (or quality bacon—this is a region that enjoys smoky flavors)
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 clove garlic, crushed
• 3 to 4 tablespoons apple or white wine vinegar
• 10 ounces red-skinned potatoes, peeled, boiled, and coarsely diced (save some of the cooking water)
• around 1 1/2 cups cooked, chopped vegetable—cabbage, greens, green beans, radicchio, broccoli, or whatever you like, says Bruna
Chop the pancetta. Sauté with extra virgin until it starts to brown. Add the garlic and cook until lightly browned; add vinegar, and cook over medium heat until vinegar has evaporated. Add the potatoes and, with a potato masher or spatula, mash the potatoes into the pancetta. The potatoes should be chunky. Add the chopped vegetables to the potatoes, combining well. Add one half cup potato cooking water, season with salt and pepper, and cook to evaporate, until you like the consistency.
To read more about Faith's visit to Al Vescovo and her culinary journey through Italy's Northeast, click here.