Friday, September 20, 2013

“Gatto di Patate” or “Neapolitan Potato Pie” Recipe For "National Potato Month"


“You like potato, and I like potahto - You like tomato and I like tomato-Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto. Let's call the whole thing off” This fun song “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off” was written by Ira and George Gershwin, and sang by many different artists. No matter how you say it, the “Potato” is a very important root vegetable. It contains, vitamins, minerals, and fiber that is vital for your daily nutritional requirements. This little tuber is rich in Vitamin C and potassium.  Potatoes are one of the vegetables in the nightshade family, which includes eggplant, tomatoes, and bell peppers. 

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? 

The potato is so versatile that it can be eaten many different ways. Potato gnocchi is particularly popular in Italy. These little pillows of pasta are made with potatoes, and tomato sauce is added on top with grated cheese. Another popular dish is a gratin which is made with mashed potatoes, cheese, and baked so all the cheese is gooey. An Italian version of a gratin is what we call a “Gatto” or a Potato Pie. My recipe this week is my updated version of Mary Ann/Ciao Italia’s “Gatto di Patate” or a Neapolitan Potato Pie. This savory potato pie can be used as a side dish, but also can be eaten as a main dish, due to all the ingredients that are added. It can be made with fresh or leftover mashed potatoes. Bits of cheese and cured meats that you may have on hand can be a delicious addition. There is no right or wrong to this recipe, whatever you like can be an extra treat to your recipe. Hope that you try this recipe and enjoy! Delizioso!!

Gatto di Patate” or “Neapolitan Potato Pie

Serves: 6-8 people

Ingredients
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 

Directions:
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……………………………

Copyright © 2013 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved

11 comments:

  1. Hi Dottie , yes anyway you say it potato or potahto , just let me at them . I enjoyed this recipe many times , but not lately , thanks so much I will have it Sunday . I love your post about National Potato Month , Thanks so much for sharing and have a bless weekend :).

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  2. Happy Friday Dottie!

    Guess what Marion and I had for dinner tonight? Yep, Potato Pie but I used leftover diced potatoes from last night's chicken dinner, lol...

    You pie sounds simply delicious. It's so difficult to get Genoa salami in these parts. (I had planned on stocking up on all kinds of goodies if I had come to New York)

    I didn't celebrate potato month this month. I usually celebrate in February which is also National Potato Month. Heck, I don't care, I LOVE potatoes in any way, shape, or form, lol...

    I remember all the wonderful potato farms we once had on Long Island. Oh those were the days when you could pick up a 50lb bag of potatoes driving along Sunrise Hwy. I think they were like $2.00!

    I don't know if you have ever "met" T.W. He is the host of the blog Culinary Types. He has a wonderful blog and lives in Nassau. He did a post a while back on Vodka being produced on Long Island using Long Island potatoes. Here's the link if you want to check it out. He usually only posts on Sunday.

    Have a GREAT weekend Dottie and Happy Fall too!!!

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  3. P.S. LOVE that song! My father use to go around the house singing it all the time!

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  4. Hi Nee,
    Thanks for reading my blog on the potato. I agree with you, I love them too anyway you prepare them, I will eat them! I think my favorite is a plain baked Sweet/Yam potato. They are so good especially in the fall when they are baking. You can smell the aroma's from the oven. Sooo good! Have a fun and blessed weekend. Let me know if you made the Gatto and how you liked it.
    Dottie :o)

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  5. Hi Louise, Happy Saturday to you! I can't believe that you had a Potato pie for dinner on Friday. We must have been thinking alike. Yes, you can put Genoa salami in chunks or pieces. I remember when I lived near Buffalo, NY, it was hard to find all the delicious real Italian goodies. When I would visit Long Island, I like you would stock up on things I couldn't find. Potatoes anyway you fix them are soo good! Sometimes the Farmers Markets here on the Island you can get good deals. Never had the pleasure of meeting T,W. from Culinary Types. I will definably check into his blog. It is always nice to view another fellow bloggers posts. In doing the research for this post, I never knew that Vodka had to do with potatoes. I thank you for his link. You also have a great weekend and I forgot the fist day of Fall is Sunday! Blessings, Dottie :o) PS my dad loves that song too!

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  6. We are big eaters of pototoes, usually stir fried or added in soups and curries. I am sure loving the potato dish and recipe you have shared. Its simply inviting.

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  7. Dear Dottie, An irresistible and beautiful dish. Perfection. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

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  8. Hi Catherine, thanks for reading my blog post. Hope if you try this recipe you will enjoy this delicious dish. Blessings back to you, have a great week! Dottie :o)

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  9. Hi Navaneetham Krishnan, Thank you for visiting my blog post! Yes potatoes are delicious no matter how you prepare them. I hope that you try this dish, I know you will love it. Blessings Dottie :o)

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  10. Just mouthwatering....looks delicious!

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  11. Thank you Kalyan Panja for reading my blog post. It is a delicious dish. Hope that you try the recipe. Have a good day! Blessings....Dottie :o)

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