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What to make when you’ve got nothing in the fridge? This creamy and utterly delicious potato pasta is your go-to recipe. It calls for a few humble and budget-friendly ingredients, it takes less than 20 minutes of prep time and $1 per serving.
This traditional dish, originating from Southern Italy, is a supreme example of how to turn humble ingredients or leftovers into something SO good. It’s so easy, virtually fat free and if you skip the parmesan cheese, it’s vegan too!
Carbs + carbs? Yes, my friends, this is proper comfort food and you’re going to love it.
Not only is this creamy, pasta e patate soup packed with delicious flavor, but this is also so quick and cheap, making it the perfect midweek lifesaver for your last-minute dinners. And the whole family will love it, especially the kids.
If you’re not a carb phobic, this comforting humble dish will cheer you up at the end of the day, especially if you run out of time, ingredients or money.
How good is that??!
What ingredients you need
- Carrot, celery, onion (soffritto)
- Olive oil
- Tomatoes (any kind: fresh, canned, paste)
- Salt & pepper
- Parsley (optional)
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
How to make it
- Make the soffritto = saute onion, carrot, celery in olive oil for about 5 minutes
- Then add potatoes, tomatoes, salt and give a good stir
- Add hot water and cook for a few minutes until potatoes are almost tender
- Stir in pasta, cook until al dente (adding hot water gradually, if needed)
- Taste, adjust the seasoning, add freshly ground black pepper and chopped parsley
- Add parmesan cheese if you don’t keep it vegan. Stir well until creamy and serve.
Doesn’t it look delicious?
RECIPE NOTES & TIPS
This potato pasta soup couldn’t be easier and cheaper: you need only and a few basic ingredients, 15 minutes of prep time and less than $1 per servings. Plus, it’s healthy too!
ARE POTATOES HEALTHY?
Yes. If you eat potatoes in moderation and cooked in a healthy way (rather then deep-frying them), potatoes are healthy, fat-free and nutritious.
Research shows that “white potatoes prepared in a healthy way have an important role in a nutritious diet”. They are nutrient-dense vegetables and inexpensive sources of energy and protein, rich in fiber, Vitamin A, C, B6, and other important minerals. Plus, white potatoes contain more potassium per standard serving than any other vegetable.
IS PASTA HEALTHY?
YES. Pasta is definitely part of a healthy diet, as long as it’s eaten in moderation.
And If you switch to whole grain pasta you’ll get more natural fiber and micronutrients than white pasta.
Fiber is an important part of your diet, as it prevents constipation, helps control blood sugar and reduces the appetite. Plus, research shows that eating three servings of whole-grain food per day helps you to live longer : )
CAN YOU MIX PASTA TYPES?
You can toss together leftover bits from various dried pasta, they work just fine. Traditionally, Pasta e patate is made with leftovers, so feel free to mix penne, fusilli, macaroni or whatever you have at hand, just make sure the different shapes of pasta have similar cooking times.
VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN
The original pasta e patate recipe comes from Naples, in South Italy, and it calls for pancetta (cured pork belly) or lardo (cured pork fatback) among the other ingredients. Well, I’m sure they both add plenty of flavor – and saturated fat – to the dish ; ). However, I prefer taking these types of salumi off to make a lighter, healthier and cheaper version of this recipe.
I promise you’re not gonna miss out flavor in this vegetarian pasta with potatoes. Plus, you can make it vegan or dairy-free simply skipping the cheese or choosing a vegan parmesan cheese.
HOW TO MAKE THIS POTATO PASTA TASTES GOOD?
It all starts with “soffritto” in Italy, this is a classic base for almost anything cooked on the stove. Basically, “soffritto” is a mix of diced carrots, onion, celery that can be slowly sautéed in a bit of olive oil until golden and sweet. This creates a flavorsome base for this potato pasta. Then add your potatoes and some tomatoes, any kind: a few cherry tomatoes, some tomato sauce or paste. The addition of tomatoes adds warm color and makes a richer broth when you cook your pasta.
Last but not least, serve with parmesan cheese, fresh chopped parsley, black pepper and an extra drizzle of olive oil. Yes, things can only get better : )
TEXTURE: the abundance of starch released either from pasta and potatoes in such a small amount of water will help emulsify and thicken your sauce. It’s easy: the starch does all the trick and makes it creamy and delicious.
This how an Italian pasta and potato soup looks like 🙂
If you enjoy this flavorsome last-minute recipe, be sure to check out also these super quick pasta recipes.
Or, if you are looking for more potato recipes, have a look at this super easy potato frittata.
If you make this simple potato pasta soup recipe or if you have a question, let me know! Leave a comment or rate it : )
I would love to hear from you! x
Potato pasta (pasta e patate)
- 10oz (300gr) potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 2 medium potatoes)
- 5oz (150gr) pasta like penne, fusilli or mixed
- 1 medium-size onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 small celery rib, diced
- 1 handful of fresh cherry tomatoes or 1 tomato*
- 1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more to serve
- 2 1/2 cups (600 ml) hot water, more if needed
- 1/2 tsp fine salt, plus more to taste
- 1/8 Tbsp ground black pepper, plus more to serve
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more to serve
- Cut onion, carrot and celery into small pieces.
- Peel and cut the potatoes into 3/4-inch chunks.
- Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the diced vegetables (soffritto), reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 5 minutes until soft. Stir frequently.
- Add the potato chunks, the tomatoes, and salt to the pan, stir well to coat.
- Pour in hot water, cover, increase the heat and cook for a couple of minutes, until the potatoes are almost soft.
- Then add pasta, and cook until al dente, stirring frequently. As soon as the mixture begins to thicken, add a bit of boiling water.
- When the pasta is nearly done, taste and adjust the seasoning. Make sure you're happy with the consistency, if you prefer a soupy potato pasta add more water and give a good stir.
- Turn the heat off, add grated parmesan cheese, parsley, black pepper and stir well.
- Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and extra black pepper, parmesan cheese, and parsley if you wish. Enjoy!
- SERVINGS: 2 -3 servings.
- PARSLEY: you can skip this if you want, but it does give this pasta recipe extra flavor!
- TOMATOES: this time I used a handful of cherry tomatoes, but you can use a large fresh tomato. You can also swap fresh tomatoes for canned ones: 1/4 cup of tomato sauce or 1 Tbsp of tomato paste work fine.
- SOFFRITTO: if you run out of carrots and celery, you can use only diced onion, it works just fine (this is a stress-free recipe, right?).
- PASTA LEFTOVER: it keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 days. To reheat it, just add a couple of tablespoons of water and microwave it or stir fry it until warm. No freezable.