Gatto’ di Patate is a soft potato mold that takes its name from the French “gateau.” French cooks came to Naples following Napoleon, and many preparations derive their names from French words such as Ragu’, Gatto’, Sciu’, and Sartu’.
2 lb (900 g) russet potatoes
2 tablespoons (30 gr) butter, diced
2 oz (60 g) parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated
2 oz (60 g) mozzarella cheese, diced
2 oz (60 g) cooked ham, diced
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
grated rind of 1 lemon
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup (120 cc) milk, or heavy cream
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
Boil potatoes with their skin on until tender. Peel and mash them in a food mill or with a potato masher, while still hot.
Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
Transfer to a bowl the mashed potatoes, the egg, 1 tablespoon of the butter, the parmigiano, mozzarella, ham . . . .
parsley, lemon rind, nutmeg, milk, salt, and pepper.
Mix with a spatula thoroughly to combine all the ingredients.
Brush a round oven pan approximately 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter with butter.
Spread with some of the breadcrumbs.
Transfer the potato mixture to the pan.
Level it with a spatula.
Top with the bread crumbs.
Make a design on the surface of the potatoes with the prongs of a fork.
Top with the remaining 1 tablespoon of diced butter.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until the surface is golden. Serve hot.