My slight basil surplus turned out to be a good thing. A very, very, good thing.
I made pesto! Basil, parmesan, garlic, olive oil, walnuts.
Not content to just toss my freshly-made pesto with some pasta, I turned to an old-favorite— twice-baked potatoes. Seriously— is it even possible to dislike twice-baked potatoes? Yeah, didn’t think so.
I ditched the traditional sour cream/cheddar/bacon combo and went for some Italian ingredients to give these homely lil’ taters a gourmet flair. I mashed the potatoes with some fresh mozzarella, a sprinkle of grated parmesan, and lots of ricotta. I added some bacon (I didn’t have any pancetta. Boo.) and swirled in a few generous spoonfuls of pesto, as well as some dried oregano and rosemary. Diced tomatoes marinated in balsamic vinegar and Italian spices poured over the potatoes after baking served as the perfect finishing touch.
These potatoes are good ‘ol fashioned comfort food loaded (ha.) with flavor. I don’t have an exact recipe for you, because these really are made to taste, but here’s some of my notes if you’d like to make these for yourself!
Italian Twice-Baked Potatoes
- Cheese— I used parmesan, mozzarella, and ricotta.
- Pesto. A must.
- Pancetta or Bacon
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Your favorite dried herbs— I used oregano and rosemary. Maybe try an Italian seasoning blend?
- Roasted garlic
Bake up some potatoes until they’re nice and soft on the inside. I baked mine at 400 degrees for about an hour and 15 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut in half. Scoop out the insides and set aside in a bowl to combine with your mix-ins. Once you’ve incorporated your mix-ins of choice, re-fill the potato skins and bake again until warmed through, and cheese has melted. I baked mine for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Top with balsamic marinated tomatoes, or some more pesto or….both. Delicious.