This pasta e patate is so creamy, hearty, and flavorful. Made with simple potatoes and basic ingredients, this delicious dish is perfect to serve as a main meal for family dinners.

Pasta e patate is a traditional dish from Naples, Italy. It consists of short pasta and potatoes cooked together along with a base of soffritto vegetables and tomatoes to create a creamy and fulfilling meal.

The recipe is super easy to make. First, you start by cooking the potatoes with aromatics and bacon, then cook the pasta in the same pot.

Last, you’ll add some cheese that along with the overcooked potatoes will create a delicious creamy sauce that is impossible to resist!

Close-up of pasta e patate.

Ingredients

  • Potatoes. They bring the starch, which helps make the sauce thicker, richer, and more flavorful. 
  • Pasta. The traditional Neapolitan recipe for pasta e patate calls for pasta mista, which is a mix of different types of short pasta that accumulates over time in your pantry. You can find it also sold in packets or just use ditalini pasta.
  • Soffritto. A staple in Italian cuisine, soffritto is a mix of chopped onion, carrots, and celery. You can make your own in no time with my recipe, or use store-bought if available.
  • Fresh tomatoes. Tomatoes will add sweet and tangy flavors, and make the sauce juicier. Substitute with tomato sauce or tomato paste if needed.
  • Lardo: This is a type of cured meat (not to be confused with lard), and it can be substituted with pancetta or bacon.
  • Oil. Use extra virgin olive oil.
  • Cheese. Usually, Provola or Scamorza cheese are the first options but feel free to swap with mozzarella. 
  • Parmigiano crust. This is also an optional ingredient. It is usually added to avoid waste and add flavor, as most of the time the crust is discarded. I usually have some in my freezer so I always use them to flavor soups, sauces, or stews. You can omit it if you don’t have them.
Pasta mista (mixed pasta) in a white bowl.

How to Make Pasta e Patate

Place a medium pot filled with water over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to the minimum and keep the water hot until needed (read notes below).

Peel and cut the potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Set aside.

Potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes in a white bowl.

Heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat in a pot. Add soffritto and lardo (or pancetta, bacon) and cook for 3-4 minutes while stirring constantly.

Cooking lardo and soffritto in a pot.

Mix in tomatoes and cook for 1 minute. Add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook 1-2 minutes.

Pour enough hot water to cover the ingredients, add the crust of parmigiano, and bring to a simmer.

Adding the parmigiano crust to the pot with the potatoes mixture.

Cook for 20 minutes stirring from time to time until potatoes are tender.

Mix in the pasta mista and then pour enough hot water to slightly cover the ingredients. Season with salt and bring to a simmer.

Cook over medium-low heat until the pasta is nicely tender and the sauce is dense and creamy. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Cooked pasta and potatoes in a pot.

If necessary, add more water during the cooking, the amount of water will determine the final texture of your dish.

Turn off the heat. Add the melty cheese and parmigiano cheese, mix for 1 minute or until the cheese has melted and combined with the pasta and potatoes.

Serve your pasta e patate with more parmigiano sprinkled on top and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Notes & Tips

  • I prefer using hot water when making this recipe because I’ve noticed that when I add cold water, the temperature of the ingredients changes and I need more time to cook them, and this affects the final texture.
  • The pasta absorbs a lot of liquid when cooking, make sure you have enough water to add whenever is needed.
  • Don’t worry about stirring too much, the potatoes are supposed to fall a bit and don’t remain intact, when they break, they will add lots of creaminess to the sauce!
  • Pasta e Patate belongs to the cucina povera category of Italian cuisine which is a style of cooking that was born out of necessity and focuses on frugality and avoiding waste. As such, the dishes are made with humble, filling ingredients, but they have a lot of flavor too! 
Pasta e patate in a pot with a wooden spoon.

How to Store Leftovers

If there are any pasta e patate leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. Make sure the dish is cool before placing it in your refrigerator.

The pasta will absorb some of the sauce as it cools down and expands a little bit, so use a container large enough.

When ready to enjoy again, add the pasta and potatoes to a pan with a splash of water or chicken stock. Reheat over medium heat stirring gently from time to time.

More Pasta Recipes

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Pasta e patate recipe.

Pasta e Patate

4 servings
This one-pot pasta dish features tender potatoes cooked along pasta with a flavorful mix of soffritto, pancetta, and cheese. An Italian traditional dish perfect to serve as a main meal.
prep 10 minutes
cook 20 minutes
total 30 minutes

Equipment

  • 1 pot

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound potatoes (peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • 8.5 oz pasta mista (or any small pasta, like ditalini)
  • ½ cup soffritto (chopped onion, carrot, and celery)
  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes (diced)
  • ½ cup lardo, diced (substitute with pancetta or bacon)
  • 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • cup provola or scamorza cheese (diced)
  • crust of parmigiano (a small piece, optional)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Instructions
 

  • Place a pot with plenty of water over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a minimum and keep the water hot until needed.
  • Heat the oil over medium heat in a pot. Add soffritto and lardo (or pancetta, bacon). Cook for 3-4 minutes while stirring constantly.
  • Mix in tomatoes and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour enough hot water to cover the ingredients, add the crust of parmigiano, and bring to a simmer.
  • Cook for 20 minutes stirring from time to time until potatoes are tender.
  • Add pasta and then pour enough hot water to slightly cover the ingredients. Season with salt and bring to a simmer.
  • Cook over medium-low heat until the pasta is nicely tender, adding more water if necessary until you'll have a dense and creamy dish.
  • Adjust seasonings to taste and turn off the heat.
  • Mix in the cheese until nicely melted and serve.

Notes

  • I prefer using hot water when making this recipe because I’ve noticed that when I add cold water, the temperature of the ingredients changes and I need more time to cook them, and this affects the final texture.
  • The pasta absorbs a lot of liquid when cooking, make sure you have enough water to add whenever is needed.
  • Don’t worry about stirring too much, the potatoes are supposed to fall a bit and don’t remain intact, when they break, they will add lots of creaminess to the sauce.
Nutrition Information
Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 685kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 1100mg | Potassium: 788mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 329IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg
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Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.

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