My favorite non-pasta carb is a staple of the cuisine of my Irish heritage: potatoes! When I visited Rome in 2010, I was pleased by how prominently potatoes featured in the cuisine–particularly on top of pizza, so a recipe for Italian potato soup is right up my alley.
So, I had purchased some glorious spuds at Il Frutetto on my corner and thought a potato soup would be fittingly apropos for the bit of a cold-spell we had in Milan, and I came across a recipe on Food 52 for Italian potato and saffron soup, inspired by a traditional Abbruzzese minestra,
Not only did the recipe provide me with a piping hot, luscious answer for my potatoes but it also incorporated saffron– a spice not only I adore, but one that is so Milan as it gives risotto alla Milanese its signature gold color–and was Italian in origin thus the perfect marriage of my two heritages. Plus, it gave me a reason to put my “frullatore” to more use. I always get just a tad bit nervous using it as it creates the same sensation as the bike handlebars when I ride over the pavé, the Milanese equivalent to cobblestone.
This Italian potato soup became one of my favorite dishes to put together and I’ve made it quite a few times and even served it to some dinner guests. It’s velvety and smooth, and quite the comforting anecdote to the chill of winter. I decided to finish mine with a dollop of straciatella, the creamy shredded buffalo milk cheese typical of Puglia. As far as I’m concerned, cheese makes just about everything better. The stracciatella blended in beautifully (or at least I thought so!) and gave the dish just a little more substance because as much as I love a vellutata, I love having something in there for textures so it fees like I’m “eating” something (says the signorina who loves for the Blue Print Cleanse).