The potato is the world’s most widely grown, and the fourth largest food crop of fresh produce, after rice, wheat, and corn. The month of September is scheduled as “National Potato Month.” It is thought that the potato was first brought to the United States in the early 18th century by the Irish immigrants who settled in New England. In Europe, the Carmelite Sisters, introduced the potato in Genoa, Italy in the year 1584. They were also known as the “Bread of the Poor.”
The potatoes appearance is small, lumpy, and clumsy. Its color can be yellowish, purple, red, orange, or white. They are easy to cultivate, maintain, and are highly prized in kitchens around the world. The ways to prepare this valuable tuber are almost unlimited. Potatoes can be served hot or cold, with or without the peel, whole or in pieces, mashed, fried, seasoned or plain. They can be eaten alone, or with other ingredients, they are an empty canvas for your own masterpieces. The potatoes are a favorite food for many people across the world and consider them a comfort food.
The potato is most accommodating, but did you know that it can be used to brew alcoholic beverages such as Vodka? Potatoes are used as well to feed domestic animals. The starch of the potato is used in the food industry for thickeners and binders of soups and sauces. In India, potato skins along with honey are a folk remedy for burns. Mainly Russet potatoes are commonly used in plant research. I bet you didn’t know that in the textile industry they use the potatoes as adhesives for manufacturing of papers and boards?
“Gatto di Patate” or “Neapolitan Potato Pie”
Serves: 6-8 people
4 large baking potatoes, baked. peeled, and mashed
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup of milk
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 pound of diced ham
1/4 pound of Italian salami, diced
3 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
1/2 pound of mozzarella cheese, cubed
Some breadcrumbs for top of Gatto
Butter a 4.8 quart or a 15 x 10 x 2 inch baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 ° F. Mash your potatoes in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in 1/2 stick of butter, 2 eggs, milk, and both grated cheeses. Now stir in the ham, salami, mozzarella, and fresh parsley. Spread the mixture in the buttered baking pan. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the potato mixture. Heat the rest of the butter and drizzle over the breadcrumbs. This will make the top crispy. Bake the Gatto for about 20-30 minutes or until the top is nicely browned. Serve hot so the cheese is gooey, and all the ingredients are blended beautifully. Enjoy!
Till Next Time……………………………
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