A Potato Bake With Smoky Tomato Sauce, Cheesy Potatoes And Juicy Green Olives

This potato bake is full of intense Spanish-inspired flavours. Smoked paprika, cumin and green olives make for a warm and delicious bake.

Start by making a smoky tomato sauce - very similar to the one used in the classic dish, patatas bravas.  Then it's just a question of layering cooked vegetables, potatoes and cheese with the sauce to create a delicious potato casserole that is substantial and delicious enough to be a main dish.

Ingredients for the sauce:

3 cloves of garlic
1½ teaspoons of of cumin seeds
1½ teaspoons of hot Spanish (smoked) paprika
½ teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
1½ cans of tomatoes (total weight 16oz/600g)

Ingredients for the bake:

750g/1¾ pounds of potatoes (This is about 4 large potatoes. Use a variety that holds its shape well when cooked like a waxy or red potato)
1-2 tbsps olive oil
1 yellow pepper, cut into chunks
1 courgette, cut into chunks
300g/10oz/4½ cups of sliced mushrooms
2 onions, thinly sliced
100g/4oz/¾ of a cup of grated cheese (Any hard or semi-hard cheese is ok. A Spanish manchego would be ideal but I generally use a mix of cheddar and parmesan and it works really well. Any good well flavoured hard vegetarian cheese is fine)
Handful of green olives (about 10 large), chopped. Again, substitute any olives you like but I love to use the really fat Spanish green ones.

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4

2. Leaving the potatoes whole and in their skins, boil or steam till just cooked but still a little firm. When cool, cut into medium slices. Set aside.

3. In a large saucepan, gently sauté the onion for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, courgette and peppers for about 15 minutes until soft. Stir in the olives.

4. Make the sauce by blending all the sauce ingredients together in a food processor.  Set aside.

5. Now you are ready to start layering the potato bake. Lightly grease a large casserole dish with some olive oil. Place half the potato slices at the bottom of the dish.  Cover with half of the vegetable mixture followed by half of your sauce. Sprinkle over half of the cheese. Now repeat these layers finishing with the cheese.

6. Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to cook for a further 10-15 minutes.  

 

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