Monday, March 7, 2011
Potatoes Flan (Gattò)
This flan is made with ham, salami, smoked provola (cow's milk cheese typical of Southern Italy) and so on. But if you have other left-over types of cheeses and cold cuts and you are willing to use them, that's the right opportunity to clean house. The more different ingredients are, the more tasty the flan will be.
Now let's try to analyze the meaning of the word "gattò". It would seem that the "Gattò" has been cooked up in 1768, for the wedding of Queen Maria Carolina, Maria Theresa Habsburg-Lorraine's daughter, and King Ferdinand I de Bourbon, from then on Naples became a place of comparisons of the great European cuisines. The new queen introduced in the capital the French flavours and the habit of assigning the kitchen service to the "monsieurs, high rank cooks, so it was that in a few decades some traditional Neapolitan dishes, among which this flan, took French appellations. So we can say that the word "gattò" is nothing but the funny way Neapolitan people mispronounce the French word "gàteau" which means pie or cake.
But now let's find out how to prepare it:
Ingredients for 4 persons:
Potatoes 800 g (1 and 3/4 pounds)
Milk as needed
Grated Parmesan cheese 50 g (2/3 cup)
Grated Roman ewe's milk cheese 30 g (1/3 cup)
Cooked Ham 50 g (2 oz)
Salami 50 g (2 oz)
Smoked Provola cheese 150 g (1/3 pound)
Mozzarella cheese 100 g (1/4 pound)
Olive oil to taste
salt, pepper to taste
A sprig of parsley
Breadcrumbs to taste
Butter to taste
Clean the potatoes and boil them for 30 minutes from boiling point. Meanwhile prepare the other ingredients: chop the ham, the salami, mozzarella and smoked provola cheese into cubes. As soon as the potatoes will be cooked, drain, peel and mash them with a potato masher. Put them in a large mixing bowl and add the milk, the previously beaten eggs, the grated Parmesan and pecorino cheese, the chopped parsley, salt, pepper and the olive oil. Mix thoroughly and then add the cubed provola and mozzarella cheese, the ham and salami. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Baste a deep baking pan, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and pour the mixture in it, even it out with a spoon and sprinkle with more breadcrumbs. Spread butter tufts on it and bake at 180° C (350° F) for 35-40 minutes. At the end it should appear golden brown. Take it out of the oven, leave it to cool for 10 minutes and serve.