One evening I just wanted a simple side, prepared without too much faff for a weeknight supper. I must have had some leftover roast from the weekend before; can’t recall much because it has been a while. Proof? Look at the date. Yikes. J was still the one taking the photos for C&T. What I do remember though was that I had around an hour to spare for the prep and the cooking, and in a panic I just couldn’t think properly. Luckily in the nick of time I assembled an adaptation of an easy recipe by Gennaro Contaldo. I read it a few days before in Two Greedy Italians but with no time to find it from the book I tried to make a rough version of it. I have checked his recipe since then and he obviously gives measurement for every ingredient.
I just love the name of this dish. Arraganate means ‘with oregano’. I just cannot make myself learn that word though. I have tried and tried and it simply refuses to etch itself into my mind. It’s a disgrace I know, but I have slacked a lot in my Italian vocabulary. So I find myself using the word arrangiate instead, which can mean ‘arranged’ or ‘managed’. It’s an easier word for me and I can say that it makes sense here as the veggies are placed or arranged in layers. Go with me on this one, yes?
I have left the quantities of the herbs and seasonings out simply because at that time, for me, it was a sprinkle of this and a sprinkle of that! But believe me when I tell you that you can add or subtract whatever you want and it still would be good. This is very rustic in style and as any recipe of this kind it’s very versatile. If you have more than four people coming over for a meal, all you do is to prepare an additional dish or two.
- Olive oil
- 500g potatoes, thinly sliced
- dried oregano
- salt and pepper
- dried basil
- 300g onions, sliced
- 6 large tomatoes, thickly sliced
- 8 whole garlic cloves, with their skin on
- 2 tablespoons white wine
Preheat your oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4.
In a roasting tin or ovenproof dish, tip in around 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil and spread it around the tin with your fingers until it is evenly distributed on the base.
Now it’s time to think about layering: add one layer of potatoes, then sprinkle on a little oregano, some salt and pepper, basil, another layer of onions and tomatoes. Drizzle some olive oil. Repeat this procedure until you have added all the veggies. Try to insert the garlic cloves in between the potatoes. Pour a final dash of olive oil and finish it off with the white wine.
Cover the tin with kitchen foil and bake for around 40 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked all the way through.
The unpeeled garlic cloves will roast with the veggies and will be so sweet and impossible to resist, for me at least. They also taste lovely spread over crusty bread.
(Recipe adapted from Two Greedy Italians by Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo, Quadrille Publishing, 2011.)