Mashed potato gratin may not sound very fancy. I actually had to spend 1 hour researching the best way to call this recipe because I could not properly translate the italian version.
In Italy, a very common side dish or appetizer is Sformato. It can be made with any vegetable, blended with flour and eggs and baked until it comes out of its cocotte (the name Sformato literally means “removed from the mould”) and served warm or cold, by itself or with a cheese sauce.
The most common Sformato are made with artichokes, spinach or potatoes. The potato one is also called Gattò, from the french Gateau, and always has some stuffing, usually cheese and ham.
But since both Gattò and Sformato are not really known, I didn’t know how to call this recipe. I though about Flan or Cake, but they both have different consistencies. So mashed potato gratin is the closest caption I could think of. Do you know a better name for this recipe? Let me know in the comments!
Mashed Potato Gratin with Artichokes and Buffalo Mozzarella
- 500 g (1lb) Potatoes
- 2 Eggs
- 1/3 cup Milk
- 3 tbsp Parmigiano cheese
- 1 Buffalo Mozzarella
- 3 Artichokes
- 1 Shallot
- Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
Peel and boil the potatoes until a fork can easily pierce them. Drain and mash them in a large bowl when they're still warm and set aside.
Clean well the artichokes to get to the hearts and roughly chop them (be careful to also remove the flower bud in the center).
Finely chop the shallot and sauté in a pan drizzled with olive oil. Add the artichokes, season with salt and pepper and cook at low heat until tender. Add some water if necessary.
Combine the eggs, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and the milk to the bowl with the potatoes. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Butter the ramekins, cocottes or baking pan, then coat all sides with breadcrumbs.
Divide the potato mixture in two and add one half on the bottom of the cocottes, flattening it with a spoon.
Add the cooked artichokes and a few pieces of Buffalo Mozzarella in the center, then cover on top with the remaining potato mixture, again flattening with a spoon.
Sprinkle some breadcrumbs and the remaining Parmesan on top, then drizzle with olive oil and bake in the preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) for about 15-20 minutes. Turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes until the tops are golden brown.
I prefer the small artichokes rather than the large ones as they are more flavourful and easier to clean. You can also use canned artichokes if you cannot find fresh ones but the flavour will be a lot milder.