This is an excellent recipe and is ideal served alongside a baked fish or grilled sausages, or almost anything really. I found that sliced wedges reheated perfectly and the exposed edges became a little crisp, which was delicious. Patience Gray suggests using crushed grissini or fennel-flavoured taralli rings in place of the fresh breadcrumbs. I think I will try that next time.
1 cup milk, hot
2 tbsp parmesan, grated
a little salt and pepper
100g speck or bacon, cut into tiny dice and lightly browned
Preheat oven to 180C.
Peel and boil or steam the potatoes. Drain and mash immediately (I used a potato ricer straight back into the drained saucepan).
Put potatoes back onto a low heat, beat in the butter, then add the milk. Mix to a cream then remove pan from the heat and whisk in the eggs. Add nutmeg to taste and parmesan. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Finally add the bacon or speck (Patience Gray prefers lardo, which is practically impossible to find for most of us).
Oil a 22cm round cake tin and sprinkle the bottom and sides with the breadcrumbs, which will stick. Transfer the puree to the tin, smoothing it very lightly with a spatula, drizzle oil on top and sprinkle densely with more crumbs. Bake for about 45 minutes until firm. Allow to cool a little and then place a flat serving plate over the torte and invert it.
Reprinted with permission from Honey from a Weed. The current paperback edition is available from Books for Cooks, Fitzroy, or directly from the publisher, Prospect Books, at prospectbooks.co.uk