Spanish Roasted Potatoes with Tomato Sauce (Patatas Bravas)

The name of the recipe roughly translates into “fierce” or “angry” potatoes. But these potatoes are as spicy or “fierce” as you make them. We’ve made ours with some tomato sauce, quite a bit of Tabasco, and some smoked paprika.

Called papas bravas or patatas bravas in Spain, this dish is essentially potatoes cooked in a spicy sauce and served as an appetizer, or tapas.

Variations abound in both the cooking method – the potatoes are fried, boiled or roasted – and the sauce, which usually has hot chiles, tomato and vinegar.

The potatoes absorb a lot of heat, so they’re not as hot as you would think, given the amount of hot sauce. You can easily reduce the heat to taste.

The smoked paprika called for in the recipe really helps these potatoes shine, but sometimes it can be hard to find. McCormick makes smoked paprika, so you may be able to find it at your local supermarket. If not, just substitute regular paprika (sweet).

This recipe makes more than enough sauce for the potatoes, so you can double the amount of potatoes for more servings, or save the extra sauce for later. It will keep a week in the refrigerator.

  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, or other waxy potato (peeled or un-peeled, your choice), cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine (can substitute stock)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • A 14-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco or other hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

1 Roast the potatoes: Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss the potatoes with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and salt well. Arrange in one layer in a casserole pan or rimmed baking tray and roast until browned, about 50 minutes.

2 Sauté onions and garlic: While the potatoes are roasting, make the sauce. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium pot set over medium-high heat. Sauté the chopped onions, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes, or until they begin to brown on the edges. Add the garlic and sauté another 2 minutes.

3 Make the sauce: Add the white wine to the pan and turn the heat to high. Boil on a high boil until the wine is reduced by half, then add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Add the crushed tomatoes, Tabasco sauce, salt, sugar and smoked paprika. Stir well and reduce the heat to a bare simmer. Let the sauce cook slowly while the potatoes roast. If you want, you can use a blender or an immersion blender to purée the sauce until smooth.

4 Toss potatoes with sauce, continue to roast: When the potatoes are well browned, toss with the tomato sauce and return to the casserole pan. Continue to roast until the tomato sauce dries out a bit on the potatoes and caramelizes, about 10 minutes.

Serve with the remaining tomato sauce as an appetizer or side dish.

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