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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Iannelli-Rubin

Michy's Potato Gateau (Potato Gattò)

Pototo Gateau (Gattò) is a hearty and comforting potato dish that has a soft, melted center and a crunchy crust au gratin. Gateau first appeared on the Neapolitan scene in 1768. Gatto is a potato dish that my father's family has been making for years.

My father & his family immigrated to the United States in the 1960s. When they left their quiet town in the mountains of the Campangia region of Italy, nestled in the Provence of Avellino, in a small town called Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi, they brought the potato recipe with them. My Grandmother & Grandfather (know to my and my siblings as Grandma & Grandpa Brook-a-leen) lived in the center of town, and owned a general store in Italy. When they immigrated to the United States, they bought a house in Brooklyn, and my grandparents became known to us as , "Grandma and Grandpa "Brook-a-leen". Grandma Brook-a-leen inspired our love of potato gateau or gatto, and now it is a staple on our table. It was a favorite for my Pop.

Family traditions are the most valuable "things" passed down from one generation to the next. The impact that my grandparents have on how I am raising my family today, the impact that my parent have on how I am raising my family today, priceless. Thankfully, my mother learned how to make my grandmother's potato gateau, and now it's my turn to learn the tradition and "tweak" the recipe to make it mine, so that I can carry it on in my family. Connections of family with food and history, is so important for me. Passing on these traditions on to my sons, for their families, brings me so much joy.

This recipe is my starting point. I used a variety of potatoes because I had six pounds of potatoes on hand that I wanted to use. I tripled this recipe for my first time, and it came out delicious! The potato consistency was creamy, the cheese melted to perfection, and I think that adding some meat next time will me a nice change. I also think that more milk next time will add to the the creamy consistency. And, I would like to take it out of the oven when it's golden brown. This attempt was a little overdone.



  • 2 lbs Potatoes (use yellow)

  • 11 oz mozzarella (cubed)

  • 5 oz Neapolitan salami (optional)

  • 2 oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano (Aurrichio is a great choice)

  • 2 eggs (farm fresh if you can)

  • butter

  • milk

  • breadcrumbs

  • salt

  • pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Wash and scrub pototoes, then place in boiling water with all the skin so they don't absorb too much water. Once they’re ready (stick a fork in the potato to check it's tenderness) they will be easy to peel. Pass the boiled peeled potatoes through a potato masher into a bowl.

  3. ADD a few tablespoons of milk to make the mixture creamier, then ADD eggs, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, salt, and pepper. Start mixing all the ingredients together. Next ADD the salami and mozzarella cut into cubes and continue mixing until you get a compact mixture.

  4. Butter an oven mold and sprinkle it with plenty of breadcrumbs. POUR the mixture into the mold, level it out and sprinkle on the surface more breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and a few flakes of butter.

  5. Bake at 400 °F for 30 minutes, or until nicely browned.

  6. Take the gateau out of the oven and serve hot!

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