Pumpkin squash pumpkin squash… this is my leitmotif in the last period: in fact, I’m always looking for new recipes in which to use this adorable vegetable, adorable for its versatility and, let’s say it, for its joyful color.
And so, after a pumpkin parmigiana and pumpkin gnocchi with Castelmagno (I haven’t spoken about those, yet.. are you interested?), here it is a potato and pumpkin gateau. It doesn’t differ so much from an usual potato gateau: it’s equally delicious (well, in my opinion this is even MORE delicious), equally versatile and equally comforting.
Small note on the name. It’s called gateau, pie/cake in French, although I can compare it to a casserole, not a cake. The fact is, however, that this dish has become really famous in southern Italy, especially in Campania region, where its name became gattò. In short, call it as you like, ’cause the essence doesn’t change … but if you choose to call it gattò (gatto in Italian means cat), please don’t tell Pupi (my dog.. you already saw him in all his canine beauty here), otherwise we’re in trouble!
POTATO AND PUMPKIN GATEAU (O GATTÒ)
* 600 g pumpkin pulp, roughly diced
* 600 g potatoes (3-4 potatoes)
* an egg
* grated Parmigiano Reggiano
* knots of butter
Pre-heat the oven to 356° F (180° C). Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet and bake it for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it softens up. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes (even in a pressure cooker, for about 10 minutes from the whistle) and, when they are tender, drain them. Cut them in half and mash them (without peeling them) with a potato masher .. put them in the tool with the cut down, one or two halves at a time (depending on the size of your potatoes) and you won’t have to peel them: pressing the tool, the pulp will go down and the peel will remain in the masher … maybe you already knew that, but I recently discovered it (thanks to a cooking class) and it changed my life, so maybe this would be the novelty of the century for some of you!
When the pumpkin is cooked, take it out of the oven and mash it with a fork (if a coarser texture doesn’t bother you) or with a blender.
Put the mashed potatoes and pumpkin in a bowl and add the egg, fontina cheese (or other cheese, or a mixture of cheeses), mortadella (or ham or both) and the grated Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and mix together.
Pre-heat the oven to 356° F (180° C).
Grease a baking dish and sprinkle it with breadcrumbs. Pour the pumpkin and potatoes mixture in the pan, then sprinkle with breadcrumbs and add a few knobs of butter on the surface. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes, so that the cheese melts, the egg is cooked, the flavors blend together and the surface become golden (something else!?! I don’t think so). Then put the dish out of the oven, let it cool down a bit and then serve, still hot (but not too much, so you won’t cause third degree burns to your guests’ mouths). You can also eat it warm.
Obviously you can also make individual gateaux (or gattò) .. maybe next time! Oh, and don’t do like me: I have forgotten the knobs of butter, so I used a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil in extremis, but the gratin suffered a little.. the gateau itself, on the other hand, was delicious… in fact, this was my gattò‘s life (ops.. it’s better if I call it gateau, otherwise my dog will hate me) in 3 easy steps (I avoided photographing the fourth one, also known as the “Dying Swan“).