Sicilian potato cake

Sicilian potato cake

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 50 mins Ready in 2hrs, including 1hr 10 mins baking


Cuts into 12 slices
This potato cake – torta di patate – is a staple in many a trattoria and it’s delicious eaten warm

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal381
  • fat24g
  • saturates13g
  • carbs22g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre1g
  • protein20g
  • salt1.86g
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  • 1.3kg floury potato, such as King Edward or Maris Piper



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 175g pancetta, diced



    Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong,…

  • 250ml milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs, beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 200g parmesan, freshly grated



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • 6 slices Italian salami, chopped



    Salami are a family of coarse, dry, boldly seasoned sausages. The intense flavour of salami…

  • 85g provolone or caciocavallo cheese, diced
  • 140g mozzarella, diced
  • handful flatleaf parsley, chopped
  • 50g fresh white breadcrumb
  • handful fresh thyme leaves


  1. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Boil the potatoes whole, in their skins, in gently simmering water until tender – about 30-40 mins depending on size. Meanwhile, fry the pancetta cubes until golden.

  2. Drain the potatoes and set aside. Put the milk and most of the butter in the potato pan to warm. Peel the potatoes, cut into big chunks, then tip back into the pan with the milk. Mash them (as long as you’ve used a floury potato you will get a light and fluffy mash by using an electric hand whisk, or a masher). Mix in the pancetta, eggs, garlic and all of the other ingredients except the breadcrumbs and thyme.

  3. Use the remaining butter to butter the bottom and sides of a 23cm springform tin. Coat the inside of the tin with about ¾ of the breadcrumbs and fill with the potato mixture. Smooth down the surface and sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumbs, pressing them gently into the potato.

  4. Bake for about 1hr 10 mins until the potato cake is set, with a slight wobble in the middle. Let it rest for 5 mins then loosen from the sides with a knife before releasing the tin. Slide onto a plate and sprinkle with the thyme leaves. Serve hot or warm. Can be prepared up to the end of step 3 the night before and kept covered in the fridge.

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Comments, questions and tips

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HollyMak's picture
9th Feb, 2016
I really LOVE this recipe and have made it loads of times. I usually half the recipe and cook in a silicone loaf mold which always works well. I have never used the provolone or caciocavallo cheese and sub for cheddar. Usually use bacon instead of pancetta too.. and i don't bother cooking potatoes whole, i do it like a normal person haha. However if i did the recipe exactly as written i bet it would be even better :) Make sure you bother with the breadcrumbs too as they really do finish it well. I always do my potatoes with an electric whisk now, making sure the milk and butter are warmed up.. it really makes a difference. I like the suggestion of the sundried tomatoes and think that would really go with this, but it already has bags of flavor so will try not to over do it! If you haven't tried it.. do it do it do it!
6th Jan, 2014
I made a vegetarian version of this, and also adapted it slightly according to what I had. I made half the amount only, to try it out, and it gave us two generous wedges each for the four of us. I used Vale's Sovereign potatoes, used 1 finely chopped biggish onion, sauteed/fried til softened and golden and slightly caramelised, in place of the pancetta. I used finely grated mature cheddar in place of the parmesan. The rest of the cheese was all mozzarella, as I didn't have provolone or caciocavello, so made up the amount with mozzarella. I didn't add anything in place of the salami. I didn't use breadcrumbs, but think this would have given nice strong sides and bottom had I used them. Also didn't use parsley. I baked the mixture in a 7 inch tin in the middle shelf, slightly lowering the gas mark for the last 15 mins, and putting foil on to stop it browning too much. After removing from the tin after 5 mins, it was soft inside, I was almost wishing I'd let it cook longer, but after it cooled, it hardened/set beautifully, so that I could easily cut solid slices. The browning and initial softness inside might be because of the adaptations, I don't know. But the end result was delicious. Next time, I may try adding peas, or chopped roasted red pepper, or sundried tomatoes etc for variety and colour. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
6th Jan, 2014
I made a vegetarian version of this, and adapted it slightly according to what I had at home. I made half the amount to try first, and found that even this was quite generous, with two big wedges each for the four of us. I used Vales' Sovereign potatoes, swapped the pancetta for one biggish onion, sauteed/fried til golden, and used finely grated mature cheddar instead of parmesan. I did not have the provolone or caciocavallo, so used extra mozzarella to make up for that, and completely omitted the salami, and parsley as I didn't have it. I added plenty of black pepper and paprika with a hint of chili powder to spice it up a little. I also didn't use the breadcrumbs, but think it might be better/stronger on the outside with them. I cooked it for the specified time in a 7 inch tin, on the centre shelf. For the last 15 mins, I turned the gas mark down a tad and put foil on, as it was browning quite a bit. I also took it out of the oven when it had the slight wobble in the centre, but cutting it when warm meant it was quite soft, and I wandered if I should have cooked it more. However as it cooled, it hardened/set beautifully. The browning and being a bit soft when warm may be because of the changes I made, I don't know. The end result though, was delicious. For variation and colour, you could use peas, roasted red bell peppers, chopped, or sundried tomatoes etc, and I may try this next time. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
18th Mar, 2013
Made this for my daughter's 18th birthday party as part of a buffet and everyone loved it. Couldn't find provolone so substituted with extra mozzarella. Also didn't bother with boiling the potatoes in skins then peeling - just did them in the normal way. I like Jenny Horton's suggestion (above) - think it would be great with sausages and onion gravy! Bit of a funny sounding fusion but I think it could work! ...
12th Nov, 2009
A friend made this at an Autumn party with sausages. It was fantastic. Fed a lot of people but everyone loved it. I will certainly be making myself very soon!
1st Jun, 2008
Awesome recipe. I didn't use the salami or provolone, but it was still delicious. You need to give ample time to first boil the potatoes & then bake the dish, but it was worth the wait! It makes quite a bit - so make sure you have company!
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