Il Gateau di Patate
Neapolitan comfort food. This is a favorite of my husband’s and was a must have when his mother was here. He has attempted this recipe several times and I honestly was never won over by it, not sure what that is about, I love potatoes and all of the goodness that goes into this gâteau, but I was just never feeling it. I have to say that a mother’s touch to certain foods makes all of the difference and this was a gâteau di patate that I actually went back to for seconds.
My mother-in-law did not use a recipe, she’s got this one, but for simplicity’s sake and the fact that she moves like a ninja in the kitchen, I decided to use the recipe from my Neapolitan bible, Naples at Table. There are a few differences, we used prosciutto cotto instead of salami, due to certain dietary restrictions and only used mozzarella and skipped the smoked cheese, though I think that the salami and the smoked cheese would have really made this potato cake pop. We’ll try it again in a few months.
Gâteau di Patate
from Naples at Table by Arthur Schwartz
- 3½ pounds all-purpose potatoes, preferably yellow-fleshed, washed and peeled
- 3 cups loosely packed grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 ounces Neapolitan-style salami or soppressata, cut into ¼-inch cubes
- 1 egg, beaten
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 rounded tbsp finely cut parsley
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 to 2 tbsp butter (for greasing the pan)
- ¼ cup dried bread crumbs (for the pan)
- 4 ounces smoked provola, cut into ½-inch or smaller cubes
- 8 ounces mozzarella, cut into ½-inch or smaller cubes
- Optional: freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp butter
Boil the potatoes in plenty of salted water until just tender. Rice the potatoes into a bowl. (Do not mash.)
Add the Parmigiano, butter salami, egg, milk, parsley and salt, stirring only enought to incorporate everything evenly.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Heavily butter a 10-inch pie dish or cake pan, then coat with bread crumbs.
Turn 2/3 of the potato mixture into the prepared pan. Smooth out gently, using a spatula or the back of a spoon, making the layer even. Do not press down. Try not to disturb the bread crumbs coating the pan.
Sprinkle evenly with the smoked cheese and mozzarella cubes, but don’t bring them to the very edge. Season with freshly ground pepper, if desired. Top with the remainder of the potato mixture. Smooth gently again. With a fork, make a decorative pattern on the surface of the potatoes; sprinkle lightly with bread crumbs, then dot with 1 tbsp of butter.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.
Serve hot, cut into wedges or spooned out of the pan.
Two Years Ago: Baccala’ alla Vicentina con Polenta
Three Years Ago: dalla nostra terra
Four Years Ago: Potato-Mushroom Cake with Braised Lentils
Six Years Ago: pesce all’acqua pazza