The term “comfort food” originated in the US, and I’ve heard it used In Italy only recently, mostly by food-bloggers. That’s not to say that we didn’t have comfort food before, we just didn’t have a name for it. On top of that, our choices are often different. Where you go for hamburgers, we dig into spaghetti; when you take out the ice cream, we open the Nutella jar. There is one exception, a unifying, universal ingredient: mashed potatoes. In Northern Italy, when a mom wants to comfort her kids after a not-so-great grade at school, a broken heart, or simply a long week of rain, she will serve this crowd-pleaser as a side: Pure’ di patate (potato puree), a silky, creamy and scrumptuous blend of starchy potatoes, milk and butter.While mashed potatoes can be dry, lumpy, hyper-garlicky, and even gloppy, puree is velvety smooth, and will win the pickiest palates over with its decadence. Not even your carb-phobic friends will be able to resist it. * for a non-dairy version, replace the butter and milk with olive oil and vegetable broth. * *if you are watching your weight, you could replace the whole milk with 1% and halve the butter; but do add some butter for flavor. *** If you need to reheat it, you should add a little more hot milk or broth. INGREDIENTS
- 2 pounds starchy potatoes (Yukon gold or russet, not too young)
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup milk, or a little more
- salt to taste
- a pinch of nutmeg
Keep stirring until the puree is soft, smooth and silky! Adjust the salt, add a pinch of nutmeg, and serve immediately.