Many dishes from Campania have names that derive from French, having being ruled by France for many years in the past. Gattò comes from the French gâteau (cake) as this dish resembles a cake.
Traditionally, this cake is layered with ham or mortadella and cheese between the potato mash and served as a main dish. I’ve tweaked the traditional by using roasted cherry tomato in place of meat and serve it as a vegetarian side.
The cake is best served near room temperature; a perfect dish to make ahead. Who can resist the cheesy, roasted tomato filling oozing out of this potato cake?
one 8 inch spring form pan
1 lb potatoes, boiled (weighed before being boiled)
1 egg – lightly beaten
2 tbsp salted butter
1/2 cup Parmesan & Pecorino mix – micro-plane grated
Preheat oven to 400° F, place the tomatoes in baking dish, give each one a slit; toss with the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper - to taste. Bake for 20 minutes. Upon taking out of the oven, immediately toss in the herbs. After the tomatoes have cooled a bit, separate them from the roasting juice. Keep both the juice and tomato until needed.
Boil the potatoes with skin on, when cooked and still hot, mash them. Add 2 tbsp of butter, the Parmesan/Pecorino mixture, the tomato roasting juice, egg and salt, if needed – the cheese usually give out enough saltiness. Set aside until needed.
Prepare the spring form pan. Grease it well with some butter and coat it with breadcrumbs. Make sure it is fully coated, or the pie could stick.
Put half the mashed potatoes at the bottom of the pan and press them down flat. Layer in the roasted tomato and add the shredded cheese over the top. Sprinkle red pepper flakes over cheese – optional.
Finish off with the remaining potatoes and flatten.
Sprinkle the top of potatoes with breadcrumbs and scatter with the 2 tablespoons of butter.
Bake in preheated 375° oven for 30 minutes or until top is brown and crusty.
Let it cool a bit before un-molding (to help keep its shape).