Italian cuisine has developed through centuries of social and political changes and is noted for its regional diversity and abundance of difference in taste.
Tortiera di Patate Carciofi e Salsiccia or ‘potato pie with artichokes and sausage’, is classic, simple comfort food at its finest. A seasonal dish that can serve as a hearty vegetable side dish (omitting the sausage) to a meat or fish meal, but which can also be the main course by adding the sausage meat as I did here.
Being a vegetable lover, I think vegetables are all good, but put together they make for fantastic preparations.
This is a very easy preparation, which does not require special techniques or even special skills. Potatoes go very well with artichokes and sausage, making it a dish with a harmonious and truly savory taste.
Potatoes Layered w/Artichokes & Breadcrumbs
In a small saucepan, add milk. Slowly whisk in flour until blended then add salt, pepper & smoked paprika. Bring to a boil over medium heat while whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low & simmer, stirring for about 5 minutes. remove from heat & stir in parmesan.
Veggies & Sausage
Cook potatoes in microwave until soft but not overcooked. Peel (if you wish) & slice into 1/4-inch slices; set aside.
Clean artichokes, remove the harder outer leaves, cut them into fairly thin slices & brown in a pan with oil, season with salt. Add water & cook only until soft. Drain any excess water & set aside.
Scramble fry sausage meat, remove from heat & drain on paper towels. Grate cheese. Prepare some breadcrumbs for topping.
Line a 8-inch round baking dish with foil & brush with oil. Place a layer of potatoes in the bottom of pan then top with a layer of artichokes. Sprinkle half of the sausage meat on top then half of the grated cheese. Spread half of the béchamel sauce over all. Repeat the same procedure to form a second layer.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until bubbling & hot. Remove from oven & allow to cool about 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate. Carefully remove foil & sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Serve.