Gateau in French, or gattò in Italian dialect from Naples, is a unique dish that can be served as piatto unico (one-dish-meal) or antipasto. It is fast to prepare and tasty to enjoy. Both kids and adults love it! The term gateau is a French word and means cake. This dish is an example of the French Bourbon legacy in Napolitan cuisine. This is a delicious potato “cake” prepared with mashed potatoes, eggs and cheese (similar to potato croquettes) and the addition of spicy salami from Naples (like in pizza rustica). The salame’s spicy taste blends well with the delicate flavor of the potatoes and the smoked cheese. If you prefer a less spicy version you can replace the Napolitan salami with ham and again, for a vegetarian meal, omit the meat altogether. The preparation is simple, the only secret is to rice the potatoes with the potato ricer while they are still warm.
GATTO’ NAPOLETANO DI PATATE (NAPOLITAN POTATO GATEAU)
Preparation time: 55 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes Servings: 4-6
950 g (2 pounds) potatoes
70 g (2/3 cup) + 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
80 g (3oz) spicy salami, cut into thin strips
80 g (3 oz) provolone or smoked cheese, cut into cubes
100 g (6 oz) mozzarella cheese, drained and diced
Nutmeg, a pinch
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Butter and bread crumbs
1. Preheat oven to 180 °C (375°F). Line a 20-cm (8-inch) diameter baking pan with parchment paper (previously wet with water and wrung out). Grease and flour with bread crumbs.
2. Wash and boil the potatoes in salted water for about 30 minutes (depending on the size of the potatoes). Let them cool enough to handle and peel
3. Pass the potatoes though a potato ricer into a large bowl. Add 70 g (2/3 cup) parmesan, nutmeg, a pinch of salt and pepper, and the eggs. Stir well to mix all the ingredients. Add the salami, the provolone and mozzarella.
4. Pour the mixture into the pan and level with a spatula. Sprinkle the surface with 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan.
5. Bake for 15 minutes at 180 °C (375°F), then increase the oven temperature to
200 °C (400°F) and bake for about 10 more minutes, until golden
6. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Cut and serve warm. Paola