I find slicing very, very therapeutic. But if you don't have the patience feel free to chop the potatoes as if you were making roast potatoes and simply scatter over the sliced pepperoni. Though, by lovingly shoving it in the potato, you get the crunch on top then the soft meat and potato underneath, which is rather spectacular and highly recommended.
1kg new potatoes, finely sliced hasselback-style (cut each potato into 1/4cm slices, but do not cut all the way through)
160g pepperoni slices, cut in half
1-2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic glaze
pinch dried oregano
1 ball buffalo mozzarella (or any mozzarella you can get your hands on)
1 cup basil leaves, coarsely torn
1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. Gently push individual pepperoni halves into the slices in the potatoes. Place the potatoes in a large baking dish and drizzle over the olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes. Turn down the heat a touch if the pepperoni is taking on too much colour too quickly.
3. Meanwhile, place a saucepan over medium heat. Add the Quarantine or Coronavino sauce (or tomato passata or chopped tomatoes), balsamic glaze and dried oregano. Simmer relatively vigorously for 30 minutes while your potatoes are having their initial roast.
4. Pull the potatoes from the oven and gently pour over the tomato sauce, pouring it in and around the potatoes rather than over the top, to prevent burning.
5. Return to the oven and cook for an additional 30 minutes, rotating halfway through. The rate at which the sauce reduces varies between ovens, so keep an eye on it as it cooks. You want the sauce to reduce and the tops of the potatoes to be completely crisp.
6. For the last 5 minutes of cooking time, open the oven door and place the torn pieces of mozzarella on top of and around the potatoes. Cook until the cheese is bubbling and slightly crisp. Remove from oven, season with salt and pepper and scatter with basil leaves. Serve piping hot.