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Sicily: "Patate Vastase", the peasant tradition on the table

Sicily, Trapani in particular, a Traditional recipe of poor cuisine based on potatoes, onions and tomatoes scented with oregano and enriched with mozzarella to melt on top, but it can also be omitted if you prefer to make it lighter. I assured you that in the simplicity of this dish you will find amazing flavors. Vastase Potatoes can be found in all the pizzerias and rotisseries in Trapani but if you don't have the opportunity to be there .. you can easily prepare them at home. Single dish, side dish or main course? Choose what you prefer, I will consume it as a single dish to fully enjoy it.

Do you know what "vastaso" means in Sicilian? It means rough, rude; I know that in the dialectal form it also has a "stronger" meaning that we avoid transcribing here but, if you are of age, curious and have a Sicilian friend ... just ask ;)


1) the mozzarella will release liquid so cut it into slices and let it lose water in a colander for at least half an hour. Alternative? Mozzarella for pizza that spins and does not release liquids;

2) the potatoes: wash and dry them very well with a clean cloth;

3) the cherry tomatoes will release water: you can leave them as they are with the cut side facing up or remove some seeds (we left them);

4) oregano: preferably the one on the twigs to crumble directly on the potatoes

I like crunchy potatoes so I made them a nice crust on top

Difficulty: EASY

Prep. Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time 35-40 minutes

Cost: economic

Doses: 4 PERSON

  • 600 g of potatoes

  • 1 onion (I used a red onion from Tropea)

  • 300 g of cherry tomatoes

  • 1 mozzarella

  • extra vergin olive oilolio extravergine di oliva

  • dried oregano

  • salt and pepper


Peel the potatoes, cut them into slices not too thick because overlapping they will have to cook all evenly, put them in an ovenproof dish, add salt and mix well.

Wash and dry the cherry tomatoes, cut them in half or into four pieces depending on how you like, arrange them in the pan, a pinch of salt and mix tem with the potatoes.

Cut the onion thinly, add it to the other vegetables and mix.

Sprinkle with plenty of dried oregano and oil, pepper and bake at 180 °C in a convection oven for 35-40 minutes. Five minutes before turning off, add on top of the mozzarella cut into slices that you have previously left for half an hour to lose water in a colander.

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