Potato Gateau is a very rich and tasty Italian mashed potato pie recipe. Easy to make, this Gattò di Patate (or Potato Gattò) is generally enriched with ham, salami, parmigiano, provola or mozzarella.
Actually, there is no precise recipe. Each family has handed down its own version over time. You can use the cured meats and cheeses you prefer or you find available.
The Gateau di Patate, better known in Naples as Gattò, is an ancient Neapolitan delicacy, now widespread throughout Italy.
Depending on your taste and the season, you can eat the Potato Gateau both hot and cold.
You can serve it as a single dish for a frugal lunch or as an appetizer. This Italian mashed potato pie is also perfect to enrich a savory buffet for a party or for a packed lunch in summer.
Potato Gatto is a great classic of Italian cuisine. It’s a quick and easy recipe, perfect when you want to bring a tasty and full of flavor dish to the table.
The delicious scent of potatoes and eggs, the stringy cheese, the salami cubes and the crunchy crust will captivate your guests. Now try our Italian mashed potato pie recipe (Potato Gateau), a terrific delicacy!
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How to Make Italian Potato Gateau
Doses for a 13×9 inch baking dish
- Prep Time: 20 Min
- Cook Time: 1H 20 Min
- Resting Time:15 Min
- Servings: 8
PLEASE NOTE : Resting time is essential to compact all the ingredients and be able to make portions without breaking them.
Potato Gateau Ingredients
- 1 kg (about 2 pounds) of potatoes
- 3 whole medium eggs
- 120 g (4,5 oz) of Mozzarella or Buffalo Mozzarella
- 60 g (1/2 cup) of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 60 g (2 oz) of Salami
- 60 g (2 oz) of Ham in a single slice or in little cubes
- 150 g (5 oz) of cheeses, some smoked such as smoked scamorza and some sweeter such as caciocavallo.
- 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- fine salt
Step 1) – To make the Potato Gateau, start by boiling the potatoes with their skin. Put them in a large pot with plenty of cold water.
Bring to a boil and from now on will take about 30/40 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.
Test the softness of the potatoes with a fork. Remove them from the water and let them cool a little but not completely. The potatoes that are still a little warm are softer and you can mash them better.
So peel the potatoes while they are still a warm.
Step 2) – While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the ingredients:
- Cut the mozzarella into cubes. Then put them in a colander to drain all the liquid that comes out.
- Dice the cheeses
- Cut the salami and ham into small cubes.
Step 3) – Mash the potatoes still warm in a bowl with a potato masher.
Now break the eggs into a bowl. Add a little salt and pepper and beat them with a whisk.
Finally add the beaten eggs to the potatoes and mix very well.
Step 4) – When the mixture is well blended you can add the grated Parmigiano and the extra virgin olive oil. Then add ham, salami, mozzarella and the cheeses. Mix throughly all the ingredients.
Step 5) – Take a baking dish and oil the base. Then add the breadcrumbs on the base evenly, over the entire surface. This step is to prevent the mixture from sticking during cooking and so that you can cut portions more easily.
Then pour the mixture into the pan.
Step 6) – Level and sprinkle the surface of the Potato Gateau with the breadcrumbs and a little more grated Parmigiano. Add also a dash of oil.
Step 7) – Bake your potato gateau at 180°C (350°F) in a preheated oven for about 40 minutes. Place the baking pan on the middle rack.
Halfway through baking, turn the pan by 180° to help form a crispy crust evenly. If you want in the last 3 or 4 minutes you can turn on the grill, so that the surface becomes even more golden. But be careful that it doesn’t burn!
Take your potato gateau out of the oven and let it cool.
It’s important, if you want to cut a whole slice, that the potato gatto is just warm or cold and not very hot. So let it cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes before serving so that all the ingredients are compacted.
This Italian mashed potato pie recipe is also perfect served cold. So you can cook it even the day before serving.
You can store the cooked potato gateau in the refrigerator and reheat it as needed for up to two days.
We don’t recommend to make it too many hours ahead of time before baking. That’s because obviously you should store the mixture in the refrigerator but then the potatoes will blacken. Better to reheat it already cooked.
We don’t recommend freezing.
What Potatoes are Best for Italian Potato Gateau?
The best potatoes for this Italian potato cake recipe are yellow-fleshed ones, with their characteristic firm flesh, which lend themselves well to cooking.
Otherwise, you can use white-fleshed ones, which are meatier but still good. If the dough turns out too floury, you can add half a glass of milk to the mixture.
Potato Gateau: Tips and Variations
As we have already told you, there is no exact recipe for Italian Gatto di Patate. You can use the cheeses and cold cuts that you prefer or that you have on hand.
However, the Potato Gateau recipe we showed you is the most popular Neapolitan version.
The gateau is the ultimate fridge-emptying recipe. To make it you can use the cheeses and cold cuts you have in the fridge that you need to use up.
A tasty variation is potato flan with cheese and sausage that is stringy and delicious.
The more delicate classic version uses only cooked ham and mozzarella cheese.
Vegetarian Potato Gateau
For a vegetarian version you can definitely omit the cold cuts and replace them with vegetables. For example, some zucchini, sautéed or fried. Or just use a mixture of cheeses of your liking.
The Curious History of Potato Gateau (Gattò di Patate)
The origins of this recipe and its name (Gateau or Gattò di Patate) are linked to the history of the city of Naples.
According to tradition, Potato Gateau was first prepared in 1768, on the occasion of the wedding between Archduchess Maria Carolina of Hapsburg and Ferdinand IV of Bourbon.
The future queen of Naples had cooks called for the wedding banquet from France: the so-called monsieurs “monzù” in Neapolitan dialect.
It was these cooks who proposed to the guests a potato pie, created especially for the royal banquet.
Obviously the French cooks used products typical of their land, such as Emmental and the “Rosette de Lyon”.
The Neapolitan cooks replicated the tasty recipe using typical Neapolitan products: mozzarella, provolone and salami.
The name for the dish was given by taking the French term “gâteau,” used to refer to any sweet or savory pie, and adapting it to the Neapolitan dialect.
However, unlike the French “gâteau”, “gattò” refers ONLY to this Neapolitan potato cake recipe, the Gattò di Patate!