The potato gâteau is a very popular dish, typical of the Neapolitan gastronomic tradition, whose original recipe is handed down from generation to generation.
The term gâteau undoubtedly comes from French, it refers to a sweet cake and has its roots in the French culinary tradition.
After the marriage in 1768 between King Ferdinand I of Bourbon and Queen Maria Carolina of Austria and then the union of the Bourbon dynasty with that of the Habsburgs, Naples became a place of meeting and comparison of the greatest European cuisines, especially when the queen entrusted the royal kitchen service to the “monsieurs” (high-ranking chefs).
The monsieurs were also adopted by the Neapolitan aristocratic families. They introduced into the kitchen dishes of French origin but with the use of typical local products such as Neapolitan salami and fresh provola cheese, adapted to the Neapolitan taste. The gateau, a typical regional dish, was born from the encounter between Neapolitan flavours and French infuence.
In the following decades, other traditional Neapolitan dishes took on French names, such as crocchè and ragù.
From the gâteau also comes a typical Salento dish, the “potato pitta”.
Here is the recipe of tu.cuoche!
For the cover
To prepare the gateau, start by boiling the potatoes.
Rinse them and pour them into a large pot covering with plenty of cold water. Transfer the pot over the heat and, as soon as the water is boiling, count about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Try the “fork test” to make sure that they are actually cooked: when the tip of the fork will come with ease in one of them, the potatoes are ready.
Drain the potatoes and start peeling them while they are still hot. Finally, crush them immediately in a container: when they are hot, the potatoes are easier to peel and to mash without lumps.
In the meantime cut the mozzarella into cubes and place it in a sieve to squeeze it, in this way it will drain excess whey. Alternatively, you can wring it out with a clean cloth.
At this point take the mashed potatoes and add the eggs, salt, a drizzle of oil and grated Parmesan cheese.
Mix the ingredients together and, if you don’t want to make a vegetarian version, when the mixture is well blended, add the Napoli ham or salami. Finally, add the drained mozzarella and mix everything together.
At this point oil an oven pan 20x20cm and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and butter flakes. Pour the mixture with the help of a spatula to level it. Dust the surface with breadcrumbs and butter flakes and bake in a preheated static oven to 180° for about 30 minutes.
Once ready, your potato gateau will be steaming and inviting to be served!
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