Diced potatoes are boiled in salted water, rubbed dry then fried in olive oil. Patatas bravas, a popular tapa in Spain, is served with tomato sauce, aioli or spiced olive oil depending on the region. If you were in the Philippines, a former Spanish colony, the dish could be called sarciadong patatas—sarciado being the generic term for any tomato-based stew.
It is more traditional to serve patatas bravas with the sauce drizzled over the fried potatoes. But I cooked this dish for my vegetarian daughter, Sam, as a main dish so I decided to toss the potatoes in chunky tomato sauce to allow them time to soak up the flavors.
- 8 to 10 baby ("pearl") potatoes
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon finely chopped chili
- ¼ teaspoon smoky paprika
- ground pepper
- scallions or parsley, to garnish
- Rinse the potatoes and scrub well. Cut into halves. Place in a pot, cover with water and add a tablespoon of salt. Boil for 10 minutes. Scoop out the potatoes and spread on a kitchen towel. Cool.
- Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a small pan. Saute the garlic, onion, tomatoes, oregano and chili until fragrant and softened. Stir in the paprika. Sprinkle in salt and pepper. Cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer the tomato sauce for 15 minutes. If you prefer a smooth rather than a chunky tomato sauce, you can pour the cooked tomato sauce into the blender (or use an immersion blender) and process it until smooth.
- Rub the potatoes lightly with the kitchen towel. Heat the remaining olive oil in a small frying pan and fry the potatoes until browned and crisp.
- Scoop out the potatoes and place on a plate. Spoon the tomato sauce over them. Alternatively, toss the fried potatoes in tomato sauce and serve. A sprinkling of parsley or scallions make a great finishing touch for patatas bravas.