Patatas bravas are simple yet super delicious tapas from Spain.
These fried or roasted potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce and garlic aioli are full of flavor and highly addictive. So addictive that we ordered them at every restaurant we dined at while in Barcelona this past week.
So delicious that we didn’t waste any time recreating patatas bravas as soon as we got home.
It’s tapas time!
Typically, patatas bravas are fried. We’ve opted to first steam, then pan-fry with minimal oil…classic patatas bravas, only healthier!
Steaming Versus Boiling
We like steaming potatoes rather than boiling. During boiling, potatoes collide with each other, which releases their starches; the more starch they release, the gummier they become. The potatoes can also break apart in rapidly boiling water.
Potatoes steam undisturbed, so the starch remains in their cells, yielding lighter, fluffier potatoes.
Begin by scrubbing the potatoes under cool water, then peel. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes and immediately place in a bowl of cold water to prevent them from turning brown.
The key is to make sure the cubed potatoes are roughly the same size. This way they will all cook at the same rate.
Set a steamer basket in a large pot. Fill with enough water to come at least 1/2-inch below the bottom of the steamer insert; bring to a boil. Place potatoes in basket and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Begin checking the potatoes for doneness after 5 minutes of steaming.
Transfer cooked potatoes to a baking sheet and spread out. Set aside while preparing the spicy tomato sauce and garlic aioli.
Spicy Tomato Sauce
For the spicy tomato sauce, cook diced onions in a little olive oil with a dash of salt for 6 minutes to slowly sweat until the onions become translucent. Stir in minced garlic for 30 seconds.
Add crushed tomatoes, paprika, chili flakes, a little sugar and a little salt. Simmer gently for 20 minutes and finish by processing in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Diced tomatoes should work, but the consistency will not be exactly the same. Crushed tomatoes are more concentrated and make the perfect sauce.
The garlic aioli couldn’t be more simple. In a small bowl, allergy-friendly mayonnaise, grated garlic, and lemon juice are whisked together until smooth.
To finish the potatoes, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the steamed potatoes and cook, turning occasionally, until potatoes are crisp and golden. Repeat with the remaining potatoes and season with a bit more salt to taste.
Just because we love patatas bravas, we made a second batch, but this time roasting the potatoes. The potatoes were tossed with the same amount of olive oil and seasoned with salt. In the oven preheated to 425-degrees F, they roasted for about 25 minutes.
We found the potatoes that were steamed and then pan-fried were crispier than the roasted potatoes.
Now we’re ready to plate and enjoy these patatas bravas, drizzled with spicy tomato sauce and some garlic aioli, and garnished with fresh flat-leaf parsley if you like.
Again, super simple, fiercely flavored and totally satisfying!
Yield 4 servings
Free of: gluten and top 8 allergens.
These crispy potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce and garlic aioli are full of flavor and highly addictive.
2 pounds small russet potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 cup diced yellow onions
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp crushed chili flakes
1/4 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup allergy-friendly mayonnaise, such as Follow Your Heart Soy-Free Vegenaise
1/2 tsp garlic clove, grated (about 1 clove)
1 tsp lemon juice
Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)
- For the potatoes, set a steamer basket in a large pot. Fill with enough water to come just below basket; bring to a boil. Place potatoes in basket and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Begin checking for doneness after 5 minutes of steaming. Using a paring knife, pierce a few potato pieces to check for doneness. If the knife slides in and out cleanly, the potato is cooked.
- Transfer cooked potatoes to a baking sheet and spread out. Set aside while preparing the spicy tomato sauce and garlic aioli.
- For the spicy tomato sauce, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook for 6 minutes to slowly sweat until the onions become translucent. Stir in garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
- Add tomatoes, paprika, chili flakes, sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt. Gently simmer for 20 minutes. Allow the sauce to cool slightly and puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Set aside. This sauce makes 3 cups, more than you will need for this dish.
- For the garlic aioli, combine the mayonnaise, grated garlic, and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- To finish the potatoes, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the potatoes and cook, turning occasionally, until potatoes are crispy and golden. Repeat with remaining potatoes. Season with a bit more salt to taste.
- Place potatoes in 4 small serving dishes and drizzle with spicy tomato sauce and garlic aioli; garnish with parsley if you like.
Courses Veggies & Sides