Patatas Bravas: A staple of the Spanish tapa bar that I fell in love with when I first visited Barcelona in 1998. I would order it for every meal, every single day. There are multiple variations but basically, it’s a simple combination of crunchy golden potato cubes with a spicy tomato sauce on top; a devilish bite!
Another common version is to sprinkle the golden potatoes with cayenne pepper and paprika then drizzle an aioli based dressing on top.
The original recipe calls for frying the potatoes but I prefer my oven roasting technique. Less oil, open-kitchen-odor-friendly, all the potatoes cook in one batch giving you time to make the sauce and other delicious tapas…
I prepared this spicy appetizer during my Mediterranean themed cooking class; destination Spain. It was a crunchy hot success! They asked for seconds and thirds… Ole!
Patatas Bravas / Potatoes in Spicy Tomato Sauce
Recipe Credits: Rafaella Sargi
1 kg (2 lb 4oz) Yukon gold potatoes
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 Tablespoon unsalted butter
2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
400g canned diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
You will need one medium pot, a potato peeler, a colander, one baking sheet, a small sauce pan and an immersion blender.
Scale and prep all the ingredients.
You can fry the potatoes but I prefer baking them.
Heat the oven to 400F (200C).
Peel and cut the potatoes in medium sized cubes (1 1/2 inch - 4 cm). Bring a big pot of water to a boil, add salt and the cubed potatoes. Once the water gets back to a boiling stage, let it cook for 5 minutes. Drain the water out and place the pre-boiled potatoes on paper towels. Spread them so they can completely dry and cool. On a shallow baking sheet, place the cooled potatoes, drizzle the same little amount of extra virgin oil, vegetable oil and butter, season with salt and with your hand, toss the potatoes making sure they are all coated with the oil mixture and seasoning. Spread them in a single layer and cook in a hot oven for at least 30 minutes before checking on them and tossing them slowly with a silicone spatula. You can check them back every 10 to 15 minutes and toss them as needed until golden brown and crispy from all sides. With a slotted spoon, remove the roasted potatoes from the pan, let them drain on paper towel for a few minutes and put them on a flat serving dish.
For more tips about achieving crispy crunchy potatoes you can check my Oven Roasted Potatoes recipe.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a small sauce pan, heat the olive oil and add the finely chopped red onion. Let it cook, stirring from time to time until softened. Add the garlic, paprika and cayenne pepper and mix well. Add the chopped tomatoes, bay leaf, sugar and 1/3 cup of water. Mix well, reduce the heat to medium low and let it simmer slowly for 20 to 25 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and using an immersion blender, puree the tomato sauce. You can add a little bit of water if you need to adjust the sauce consistency. You are not looking for a runny sauce but a thick and pulpy one.
Taste and correct seasoning.
Serve the potatoes hot with sauce drizzled on top or on the side.
recipe adapted from Spain: a Journey for food lovers.