This dish includes all the best parts of patatas bravas, the crispy potatoes you get in Spain with garlicky aioli and spicy tomato sauce. It combines the flavors of the two sauces into a single easy one and trades the fryer for the oven. The small victory here is the magical effect of boiling the potatoes before roasting them in a preheated cast-iron skillet (or you could use a baking sheet), which gives you potatoes that are simultaneously crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside without the hassle of frying them.
1/4 cup [60 ml] mayonnaise
1 Tbsp tomato paste or ketchup
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or a few dashes Tabasco sauce
1 tsp hot pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika)Kosher salt
11/2 lb [680 g] fingerling or small creamer potatoes, halved if larger than bite-size
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, tomato paste, vinegar, garlic, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp of the pimentón.Season the sauce to taste with salt and set aside.
Place a large cast-iron skillet in the over and preheat to 425°F [220°C].
Put the potatoes in a large pot of salted water, bring to a boil, and cook until they’re barely tender, about 10 minutes(start counting once the water comes to a boil); the potatoes should still have a little resistance when you test one with a paring knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander,turn them out onto a dish towel, and pat them dry.
Transfer the well-dried potatoes to a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and the remaining 1/2 tsp pimentón, and toss everything together.
Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven and add the potatoes. Return to the oven and roast the potatoes, stirring occasionally, until they are super-browned and crispy, about40 minutes.
Transfer the potatoes to a serving platter, drizzle with the reserved sauce, and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately.
FOR SOUR CREAM–CHIVE POTATOES, roast potatoesas directed (but leave out the pimentón) and serve them topped with 1/2 cup [120 ml] sour cream, a large handful of finely chopped chives, and plenty of salt.
FOR CRISPY, CHEESY POTATOES, roast potatoes as directed (but leave out the pimentón). Once they’re nice and crispy, scatter over a large handful of finely grated pecorino, Parmesan, or cheddar cheese (whatever mood you’re in!) and return them to the oven for a few minutes,just to melt the cheese.
FOR POTATO SKIN–STYLE POTATOES, melt cheddar cheese over the crispy potatoes and serve dolloped with sour cream and scattered with chopped cooked bacon and thinly sliced scallions.