Potato gratin

/5

PRESENTATION

Recipe by
Roberto Di Pinto

Potato gratin is a delicious dish made with potatoes and various cold cuts. A flan with an irresistible golden crust that will make a substantial dish. This famous, age-old dish is a cornerstone of Neapolitan cuisine, revisited in other regions of southern Italy. However, potato gratin did not appear on the luxurious tables of the aristocracy in the Kingdom of the two Sicilies until the end of 1700. In fact, the supreme palate of Queen Maria Carolina of Habsburg, wife of Ferdinand I of Bourbon, did not want to part with the delicacies created by her French chefs, called back to the court of the Kingdom of Naples. That was how the Neapolitan people learned how to make this dish their own. They replaced Gruyère with fior di latte cheese, and enriched the flan with ham and salami. And that's not all. The name was soon adopted and even the monsieurs did not escape the Neapolitan imagination, becoming "monzù"! Each family passes on their own version of this irresistible flan, and so we too have decided to share with you the recipe for potato gratin of Chef Roberto Di Pinto!

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients for a 8x8in (20x20) cm skillet
Potatoes 1 lb (500 g) - yellow
Fior di latte cheese 3 ½ oz (100 g)
Neapolitan salami 2 oz (50 g)
Baked ham 2 oz (50 g) - a single thick slice
Parmigiano Reggiano DOP cheese 2 tbsp - (aged 24 months)
Eggs 2
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Black pepper to taste
Fine salt to taste
for baking dish and to season the surface
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Breadcrumbs 3 tbsp (20 g)
Parmigiano Reggiano DOP cheese 2 tbsp (30 g)
Preparation

How to prepare Potato gratin

To prepare potato gratin, start by boiling the potatoes. To do this, rinse the spuds and place them into a large saucepan, covering with plenty of cold water 1. Place the pot over heat and, as soon as the water starts to boil, count about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Test them with a fork 2 to make sure that they are actually cooked: if the fork easily reaches the center of the largest potato, they are ready. Drain the potatoes and start peeling them while they are still hot, helping yourself with a small knife to avoid scalding your hands 3.

Finally, mash them immediately in a bowl: when they are hot, the potatoes are easier to mash and will virtually be lump-free 4. In the meantime, dice the mozzarella cheese 5 and place it in a sieve to drain any excess liquid 6. Alternatively, you can squeeze it with a clean cloth.

Dice the Neapolitan salami into about 1/3 inch (1 cm) pieces 7 and do the same with the slice of ham 8. Now take the freshly mashed potatoes and add the eggs 9,

a sprinkling of pepper 10, salt, a drizzle of oil 11 and grated Parmesan cheese 12.

Mix the ingredients (13-14), and when the mixture is well amalgamated you can add the ham and the diced Neapolitan salami 15.

Pour the drained mozzarella cheese 16 into the bowl and mix all the ingredients 17. Oil a 4x4-inch (20x20 cm) square baking dish 18

and sprinkle with breadcrumbs 19. Move the pan to ensure it is evenly coated with breadcrumbs 20. Now pour the mixture in the pan using a spatula to level it 21.

Sprinkle the surface with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese 22, season again with a drizzle of oil 23 and bake in a static oven preheated to 350°F (180°C) for about 30 minutes. Once ready, your potato gratin will be a steaming and inviting dish ready to be served 24!

Storage

You can store the cooked potato gratin and warm it up as needed. Preparing the potato gratin too many hours in advance before cooking it is not recommended, as the potatoes could turn dark. Freezing it is not recommended.

 

Tips

Never as in this case is it useful to embrace the famous popular saying "you find what you put in", so indulge yourself using cold cuts and cheeses to your liking. If the potatoes you have used are too floury, you can dilute the mixture with very little milk, according to the Neapolitan tradition.