Potato Gateau is a French savory potato cake re-adapted to the Italian cuisine, and mostly known around the area of Naples as “Gattò”. Made of mashed potatoes, egg, parmigiano and with a filling of mozzarella and usually ham you can easily convert it to vegetarian by using a mix of spinach (and scarola). My version uses also smoked scamorza for a bolder taste. Next time I will add some parsley to the dish …
The gateau di patate is typically served, warm but not hot, as a piatto unico—a one-dish meal—although a thin slice could also do service as an antipasto or perhaps a substantial primo.
Made of mashed potatoes, egg, parmigiano and with a filling of mozzarella and usually ham that you can make vegetarian by using a mix of spinach and scarola.
- for the
- 2 lb potatoes (russets) -
- 4 eggs -
- 4 or 5 oz cooked ham - or mortadella, or salami in small cubes
- 4 oz hard cheeses - mozzarella and scamorza in small cubes
- 3 oz freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese -
- A few sprigs of parsley - finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg -
- Salt and pepper -
- Milk (if needed) -
- for Molding and Baking
- 2 oz butter -
- Breadcrumbs -
Steam (or boil) the potatoes until they are fully tender, about 30-40 minutes depending on the size and quality of the potato.
s soon as they are cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes and run them through a food mill or potato ricer into a large bowl, as if you were making mashed potatoes.
Add the cheeses (keep 1/3 of parmesan for the top), seasonings, nutmeg, chopped parsley, eggs and the cured meats to this mixture.
Now grease the bottom and sides of an 8″ x 11" (or equivalent) casserole or cake pan with the butter and line completely it with breadcrumbs.
Spread out the mashed potato mixture on the bottom of the pan, add the left parmesan and a few pieces of butter on the top
Bake in a moderate oven (180C/350F) for about 30-45 minutes, until the gateau is cooked through and golden brown. (If the top is not quite browned enough, you can raise the heat for a few minutes before removing from the oven.)
Let the potato cake cool off for a good 20 minutes or so before serving. Unmold the gateau if you baked it in a cake pan, and serve it just like a cake. If you baked it in a casserole, just bring it to the table and serve.