Potato nests with crunchy PGI Finocchiona

A recipe by Cinzia Spagnolo

Ingredients for potato nests:

  • Potatoes 1kg
  • Melted butter 60gr
  • Grated PDO Parmigiano Reggiano  60gr
  • 3 yokes
  • Salt as needed.
  • Nutmeg as needed.

Ingredients for lentils:

  • Dry lentils 300gr
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • PGI Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil 30gr
  • Tomato sauce 1 spoon
  • PGI Finocchiona 300gr


Place lentils in a large bowl and fill it with water until they are abundantly covered. Let them soak for two hours and change water at least twice so that they are properly softened. Put a clove of garlic in a saucepan with oil and let it brown, add lentils and some leaves of laurel. Mix with care and add some warm water and vegetable stock to cover them. Allow them to cook for about 30 minutes, then add a spoon of tomato sauce and allow all flavors to blend for at least 10 minutes.

Prepare your nests while lentils are cooking. Boil potatoes in previously salted water. Once they are ready, peel them using a knife and crash them with a potato-masher. You will get a puree; add the three yokes and mix roughly. Pour the melted butter, you have allowed to cool. Add cheese and grated nutmeg. Add salt and pepper as needed, mix well using a palette knife until you obtain a smooth mixture without clusters.

Fill a sac-à-poche with the puree and butter and cover a drip-pan with baking paper, then trace 4 well-spaced disks of 10 cm diameter. Put them in a static pre-heated oven at 200° for 20-25 minutes (in a ventilated oven, cook for 10-15 minutes at 180°), until their surfaces turn golden.

In the meantime, you have cut the PGI Finocchiona into cubes of about 1cm and tossed them in a pre-heated saucepan without oil for a few minutes (if you prefer you may roll the PGI Finocchiona cubes in breadcrumbs so that they become crunchier).

As to plating: place lentils on a plate, arrange a potato nest and fill it with PGI Finocchiona cubes. You may use some sprigs of fresh fennel to decorate the plate.


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