SARONNO, Italy - Everyone loved this Gateau di Patate that Sara brought to our non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner last week, and I thought you might enjoyed it too.
|Gateau di Patate|
It is also a good example of why people who study Italian go off the rail. Here in Italy this recipe is called a gateau, but a gateau (or gatto’ if you want to Italianize it) is a French word, so sometimes it’s called a sformato, since it isn’t really cool to use French words when you are speaking Italian. However, the literal translation of sformato is flan, so while this may be a flan etymologically speaking, it really isn’t a flan at all, but no problem it tastes good no matter what it’s called.
Now that I have totally confused the issue how about I just get on with the recipe and you can call it whatever you want. For no particular reason, I’m going to call it a sformato.
This sformato of potatoes is a rustic, one-dish meal. It’s very tasty, but light and is made by mashing potatoes and adding seasoning, eggs, boiled ham, grated Parmesan cheese, mozzarella and scamorza (provola) cheese.
It is easy to put together and all it needs is to be baked in an oven-proof dish, (a cake pan works well) for about 30 minutes.
Butter 6 curls
Mozzarella 100 grams
Nutmeg - a pinch
Parmegiano Reggiano 50 grams
Smoked scamorza cheese 100 grams
Potatoes 1 kilo (2 lbs)
Freshly ground black pepper –pinch
Boiled ham 120 grams
For the oven proof dish: breadcrumbs and butter to coat the dish
Wash and boil the potatoes in salted water for 40 minutes (1), let cook and then peel and cut them into pieces (2), mash them or put them through a ‘passavedura’ (3). Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Put the mashed potatoes in a bowl, and add the Parmesan cheese (4) the eggs, (5) salt, pepper and nutmeg (6) and mix all of the ingredients together with a wooden spoons.
Cut the boiled ham into pieces (7) and cut the fresh mozzarella (well drained) into cubes (8) as well as the smoked scamorza (9)
Mix in the ham and cubes of cheese into the potato and mix well (10). Butter an oven proof dish and coat it with bread crumbs. Pour the potato mix into the buttered dish and with even it out with a tablespoon (11). Sprinkle the top of the sformato with the remaining breadcrumbs, the remaining parmesean cheese and butter curls (12), and put it in the oven.
Cook at 180 degrees C for the first 15 minutes then raise the oven temperature to 200 degrees C for the remaining 15 minutes. When the sformato is cooked let it cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes, then cut into portions and serve.
If you want you can use other types of meat or sausages in place of the boiled ham, and used other cheeses instead of scamorza or mozzarella as long as they are not too soft or too liquidy.
And that's it. This is the start-from-scratch recipe, but there is no reason why you can't use left over mashed potatoes and bits of vegetables. Sounds like a winning idea to me.
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