Our friend George, in Sicily, has a lot of recipes on his website – very basic, simple Sicilian fare. It’s the type of cooking that doesn’t require a lot because the few ingredients used are quality. It’s something we have lost with our factory farms and produce being shipped from six of the seven continents year-round.
We have whole generations, now, who will never get to experience the joy of eating those first ripe strawberries of the season. Or the anticipation of that first watermelon – and seeing how far you could spit the seeds. It’s too bad… We have so much and take it all for granted.
While I have always been a farmer’s market kinda guy – and do love exotic fruits and vegetables from around the world – I’m really really enjoying walking out into the back yard and picking vegetables for dinner. I know I’ve come late to the party – but at least I’ve shown up. It’s proving that you’re never too old to learn.
The first dish tonight, was George’s Gatò di Patate. I thought the interesting thing about this is George says the gatò should be served cold! I served it hot right out of the oven and loved it. And, I imagine it would make a great cold side-dish. I’ll taste the leftovers tomorrow and let you know my thoughts on it being served cold.
It takes a few pots and pans to get it all together, but it’s definitely worth the effort!
I made it in a round casserole, but I think if I was to serve it cold I’d make it in a 9×13 pan. Cut in squares.
Gatò di Patate
- 1 kg of potatoes
- 80 g of butter
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 egg whites
- 80 g of salami
- 80 g of cooked ham
- 100 g of parmesan cheese
- 250 g of provola and mozzarella cheese
- salt & pepper
Boil the potatoes, remove the peel and mash.
Add the butter, Parmesan cheese, egg yolks, the egg whites, crumbled salami and ham, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix everything well.
Grease with lard (suet) a saucepan, sprinkle the breadcrumbs and put between two layers of cream of potato the mozzarella into pieces and the provola cheese.
With a wooden spoon lined surface smooth. Bake at high heat and remove when golden.
The Gatò should be served cold.
The measurements are in metric because the whole entire world uses the metric system – except us. I remember 28 grams to the ounce from my cocaine-snorting days, so the conversions are pretty easy.
I used speck and pancetta in place of the salami and ham, and a blend of asiago, mozzarella, and fontina for the provolo and mozzarella. That’s not a typo. The cheese he is using is a Sicilian cows milk cheese called provolo – not provolone. Use another Italian cheese – you’re not going to find it locally.
Nonna cleaned her plate. She ate every single bit of it and commented on how much she liked it.
The squash came from the yard. Victor’s never been a huge fan of the summer squashes – but he is now that we’re growing our own! It really is a different product that the stuff you get in the store.
All I did with this was saute a bit of onion in butter, add the cubed squash and let it cook a bit, toss in a chopped tomato, and some fresh basil, salt, and pepper. Quick, easy, and oh, so good!
That was the last purchased tomato of the season. We are about to get bombarded with them. The plan is to just gather them up and make sauce and can it – over and over until fall and no more tomatoes are left. Plus the normal tomato salad drizzled with our Sicilian olive oil.
The answer to the question will you still need me, will you still feed me when I’m sixty-four? is a resounding, YES.
I’m enjoying this!