Potato Gatto

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Recipe includes potatoes, onions, Parmesan cheese and soppressata.  Recipe by Matthew Amster-Burton is a Seattle free-lance writer. Steve Ringman is a Seattle Times staff photographer.
Recipe By: The Seattle Times Company
  • PrepN/A |
  • TotalN/A |
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

    • 3 pounds Yellow Finn, Yukon Gold or red potatoes
    • Extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 1/2 cups coarse homemade breadcrumbs
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    • 1/3 cup milk
    • 1/4 pound soppressata (or any other spicy salami), sliced 1/8 inch thick and diced
    • 1 1/3 cups frozen peas, defrosted; divided
    • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, drained and sliced 1 inch thick

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer 25 minutes or until a fork goes easily into the largest potato.

Meanwhile, brown the onion in a scant tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat, seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove the onions into a bowl. Add a bit more oil to the skillet and sauté the breadcrumbs, seasoning with salt and pepper, until lightly browned (5 to 10 minutes). Remove the breadcrumbs to a bowl.

Drain the potatoes and let cool 10 minutes.

Slice the butter into a large bowl. Using a paring knife or your fingers, peel the potatoes then put them into the bowl with the butter, Parmigiano, milk and salt and pepper to taste. Lightly mash the potatoes; they should be fairly lumpy. Stir in the soppressata and half the peas.

Oil an 8-inch square baking dish (Pyrex works well) and press half the potato mixture into the bottom. Top with the onions and remaining peas, then the mozzarella slices in a single layer.

Spread the rest of the potatoes on top and smooth with a spatula or the back of a large metal spoon. Bake 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the breadcrumbs. Bake 10 minutes longer.

— Adapted from "The Italian Country Table," by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Note: For this recipe, it is easiest to buy your salami from a deli counter and have it sliced to order. Columbus brand soppressata is available at Larry's.

Serving suggestion: Serve hot with a simple steamed vegetable or contrastingly bitter salad green on the side, or serve the gatto in smaller portions as a side dish to chicken or fish. Of course, the gatto also makes a complete meal by itself with nothing more than a glass of wine, and that is how we usually enjoy it. With its abundance of wine-friendly tastes and textures, gatto goes well with a wide range of wines. Lynne Rossetto Kasper recommends a soft chenin blanc or a gutsy but non-oaky chardonnay. Mario Batali suggests a full-bodied Campanian red such as Taurasi. And I say you can never go wrong with dry German Riesling.
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