As the winter drags on, we are still in search of bright and beautiful dishes that warm us up. The recipes from the Mediterranean region are some of my favorites as they always remind me of the hot summer and cheerful moments.
This easy dish is a mixture of sweet potatoes and a delicious tomato sauce. It is very easy to make yet it will satisfy even the most demanding gourmets.
The key element of this dish is the sauce…slowly simmered chopped tomatoes with onions and garlic is what really elevates the sweet potatoes.
Traditionally, Spanish potatoes are made with white potatoes, but on those days when you are looking for something new, give this recipe a try.
History Of Potatoes In Spain
Spanish potatoes were created sometime after 1542, when the Spanish conquered the Inca empire.
Potatoes were not popular at the time and were grown for decorative reasons and as food for the cattle. Centuries later, potatoes become one of the basic food items in Spain and across Europe.
The Spanish potato recipe originates from Madrid where it became widely known as the potatoes served with spicy tomato sauce.
Spanish potatoes, or patatas bravas, are a well-known tapas dish, and they are served on almost every corner.
As with any recipe, this recipe has variations from region to region.
The Madrid potatoes are served in tomato sauce which has some vinegar and cayenne pepper, while the potatoes from Valencia and Catalonia are made with chili, paprika, and olive oil.
Sweet Potato Patatas Bravas
Tomatoes pair amazingly with sugar, and in every tomato-based sauce, there is a pinch of sugar if not more. That is the reason why I choose sweet potatoes.
Their natural sweetness pairs beautifully with the tomato sauce, and for me, this is probably the best way to make Spanish potatoes.
Another reason why I choose sweet potatoes is their health benefits. Although plain potatoes have vitamins and minerals good for overall health, sweet potatoes go a step further.
Sweet potatoes are generally healthier than white potatoes and have an incredibly high vitamin A content. Sweet potatoes are lower on the GI index, meaning that they are less likely than regular potatoes to make your blood sugar spike.
As a side note, if you enjoy making sweet potato fries but hate cutting them, check out these cool sweet potato fry cutters.
This recipe is a perfect example of how simple and healthful food can also be delicious.
Tips For Making Spanish Sweet Potatoes
The key to amazing Spanish sweet potatoes is to toss the sweet potatoes with oil and season with sea salt before roasting. Once baked, cool the potatoes on parchment paper and this will give you a nice crispy crust.
While the potatoes are roasting, you can prepare the delicious tomato sauce.
I use canned chopped tomatoes, and it is my trick for an easy recipe. Of course, you can use fresh tomatoes and add some extra tomato sauce if you prefer.
The sauce is usually drizzled directly on the potatoes before serving. Bravas sauce is bright red and slightly spicy and the name actually gives away the sauce flavor: brava roughly translates to “strong” or “brave”.
Of course, you do not have to be extra brave as this is not an extra spicy version, but if you want a spicy kick, add some extra spicy red pepper flakes.
Best Ways To Serve Spanish Sweet Potatoes
I serve my Spanish potatoes with the tomato sauce only, but some like to serve potatoes with aioli.
Aioli is a garlicky marinade that provides a nice contrast and cuts the spice. The two sauces may be drizzled atop the potatoes or may come on the side.
The purest form of Spanish potatoes however is simple: potatoes smothered in brava sauce and nothing else.
How To Make Spanish Sweet Potatoes
Gather your ingredients and preheat oven to 400F.
Toss the potatoes with 2 tbsp olive oil and roast for 15 minutes.
Set your oven to a broiler and broil them for few minutes or until crispy.
While the sweet potatoes are roasting, heat olive oil in a skillet.
Add onion and cook until tender, then add garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add tomatoes and spices. Season to taste.
Simmer the sauce for 20 minutes over medium heat.
Once the potatoes are done, serve them and top with tomato sauce.
You can finish off the dish by sprinkling with chopped parsley.
- 1.5lb sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 14oz. can chopped tomatoes
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp pimento or smoked paprika
- Salt, to taste
- Chopped parsley for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Toss the potatoes with 2 tbsp olive oil and roast for 15 minutes.
- Set your oven to a broiler and broil them for few minutes or until crispy.
- Start making the sauce by heating olive oil in a skillet.
- Add onion and cook until tender.
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add tomatoes and spices. Season to taste.
- Simmer the sauce for 20 minutes over medium heat.
- Once the potatoes are done, serve them and top them with tomato sauce.
- You can finish off the dish by sprinkling it with chopped parsley.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 296Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 219mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 9gSugar: 18gProtein: 6g