Mashed potatoes are as American as apple pie and fried chicken. Like those other staples of home cooking, mashed potatoes can be tricky to master. You need to start with the right potatoes and do your best not to overcook them or over-mash them. The best potatoes for beginners to mash are “dry” potatoes usually used for baking, like Idaho potatoes.
Lidia Bastianich's polenta torta is delicious with Gorgonzola and cabbage, but you can vary the filling however you wish. The dish is ideal for a crowd. You can assemble the tart the day before and then bake it the day of your gathering, and it also reheats well.