On a previous visit to see the family up in Brisbane my sister and I got together and cooked a few things for dinner. One of the dishes we made came from a Croatian cookbook she owns. It’s this simple baked potato dish that originates from the Istrian peninsula, not all that far from Northern Italy. It’s an absolute breeze to knock up and to fancify it a little, I crowned the dish with truss tomatoes in the second stage of baking. That burst of sweet, roasted tomatoes goes beautifully with the savoury potatoes and pancetta.
It calls for Vegeta, a Croatian seasoning powder that’s available in most Aussie supermarkets these days, but if you can’t get it, just use salt or a good vegetable stock powder.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a 1.8 litre (medium-large) baking dish.
Place the first 10 ingredients into the baking dish, mixing well to combine. Flatten the potato mixture, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the dish from the oven, discard the foil, and sprinkle over the grated parmesan. Top with the truss tomatoes and drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil. Continue baking the potatoes for 40-50 minutes, or until cooked through and golden on top. Serve hot.