Bake this potato gateau in the morning and keep it aside until dinner time. While you set the table, reheat it so that the cheese filling melts again and the butter mashed into the potatoes makes it smooth and rich. You can choose your favorite combination of cheese and charcuterie for the filling: smoked ham and scamorza (an Italian cow's milk cheese) work well together, as do cooked ham and mozzarella, or gorgonzola and stracchino (another type of Italian cheese) for a vegetarian version. The quantities are enough to feed four very hungry people, or six people that are also being served a soup or hearty side dish. Make sure to save the leftovers for the day after; they will be a perfect addition to your lunch box.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Steam the sliced potatoes in a pressure cooker for about 6 to 7 minutes. Alternatively, you can also boil the potatoes; in this case leave them whole, so they will absorb less water.
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Mash the steamed potatoes in a bowl with a potato ricer. Mix the potatoes while they are still hot with the butter, eggs, grated Pecorino, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Use a fork to make a creamy, smooth texture.
Grease an 9 x 9-inch baking dish or oven-safe pot and sprinkle with half of the bread crumbs. Spoon half of the mashed potatoes on the bottom and flatten the surface with a spatula.
Cover the potatoes with the prosciutto cotto and scatter the surface with pieces of mozzarella and gorgonzola. Top with the rest of the mashed potatoes, then flatten the surface with a spatula. Dust the surface with breadcrumbs, then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Bake until golden and crisp, about 45 to 50 minutes, and serve warm.
Giulia was born in a farmhouse in the countryside near Siena, the same place that she calls home now, a peaceful corner in the hills of Tuscany, where Giulia’s family has been living since the 1920s.
Giulia, a food writer and food photographer, loves honest simple food: seasonal products, family recipes, memories and stories. She started her blog in 2009. Tommaso, her husband now and the head tester, joined Giulia, embracing her life project, contributing to Juls’ Kitchen with his passion for Social Media, photography and video making.
You can find them on line, or teaching Tuscan cooking classes in their cooking studio, shopping at the market or picking the seasonal produce directly from their vegetable garden to cook up a storm for family and friends.