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Fabrizio Gatto Profile

Fabrizio Gatto Profile

Fabrizio Gatto, the winemaker of some well known Italian Pinot Grigios, such as Ecco Domani, was born with wine coursing through his veins. OK, maybe that’s a stretch, but this famous winemaker’s father had a small vineyard in central Italy. He spent a whole lot of “hang time” there, working with his Dad from a very early age.

By the time he turned 14, when his buddies were working on their soccer skills, Fabrizio enrolled in the School of Viticulture and Enology of Conegliano, a highly regarded program that’s been around since 1876.

Fabrizio’s boundless thirst for knowledge of modern winemaking techniques eventually led him to California, where he enjoyed hands-on experiences. During those early years, the winemaker learned about the all-important balancing act, the art of creating the just-right combination of expressive fruit flavors and bright acidity or velvety tannins, wines created to be enjoyed with food.

“My goal is to start with the best grapes possible and reflect the fruit flavors in the finished wines,” he said.

His reputation for making wines people love to drink made him one of the premier vintners in Italy, and helped him land a dream job with Ecco Domani in 1995. Fabrizio’s drive to take the fear factor out of ordering wine gives his fans an excuse to raise a glass and say “Cin Cin!”

“Remember, you should never feel intimidated by wine: it is fun and should be enjoyed, especially when out at dinner with friends!” he said.

When he’s not making wine with his dedicated team, Fabrizio is exploring vineyards, looking for exceptional fruit.

“By choosing the very best grapes from the finest regions of Italy, it is possible for us to craft exquisite wines with marvelous complexity. The intricate fruit flavors which result in the finished wines are unsurpassed, and marry well with a variety of superb cuisines,” he said.

Fabrizio’s calendar is full, but there’s still room in his busy schedule for skiing and soccer. And he loves spending time with his family, especially when they travel to Sardinia to sail and swim and sip wine under the brilliant Mediterranean sun.

Of course, food served alongside Italian Pinot Grigio is always part of the fun and Fabrizio shares some of his favorite combinations each Wednesday on Ecco Domani’s Facebook page, as well as encouraging Tweeting tasters everywhere to share their finds on Twitter using the hashtag #PairItShareIt. Those 140-character tips will lead you on a delicious culinary journey.


Rachel Roddy's Neapolitan potato and cheese bake

This gattò di patate – a moreish bake of potato, mozzarella, smoked cheese and egg – is Italian comfort food at its best, and just as good in slabs the following day. What’s more, it’s a great canvas for some culinary freestyling – with extra veg, a scattering of sausage or even a fried egg on top .

Last modified on Tue 9 Jul 2019 09.41 BST

M y first job in Rome was waitressing in a ristorante in Trastevere. It was an odd place, big and plush, proud to be more than a trattoria, but also jaded, as if it had seen better days. Jaded and faded, but still able to charm, especially on a Friday and Saturday night when the sunken dining room – which was downright gloomy in the daytime – was softly lit and filled with voices and clinking glasses.

It had a huge menu, which always struck me as a bit of a mess, but what did I know? There was pasta galore of course, but what I remember most is bringing out these huge wooden boards covered in a very bloody – and bloody delicious – beef tagliata, and plates of fish carpaccio. I have clear memories of going down the steps, in one hand a lightweight, pale plateful and in the other a cumbersome, bleeding board. I was completely lopsided. The owner, who was tiny but terrifying, would stare straight into my eye as if to keep me straight.

Much more interesting, though, were the trays that would arrive every now and then. Not from the kitchen, but from the kitchen of the owner’s Neapolitan mother, who, as if to confirm all the romantic clichés I was hoping to encounter in Italy, cooked up huge, deep trays of parmigiana di melanzane and gattò di patate which her son would bring and serve to customers. The small, brick-like slices of goodness-knows-how-much deep-fried aubergine and mozzarella, and sunshine-yellow potato cake, seemed so at odds with the plushness of the place, like wellies with a nice frock, which is perhaps what made them all the more delicious to everyone. Customers who had spurned pasta and bread seemed to have no problem with a big piece of egg-and-cheese-laced potato. My friend Alice and I would make sure we each secured our slice. We kept them behind the bar, and ate them later as we cleared up, possibly talking about customers’ plastic surgery.

This is the third week in row that I am writing about potatoes, which is some clue as to how much we like and rely on them in this kitchen. Today’s recipe for gattò di patate is not from the ristorante – which is long gone – it is from another Neapolitan, my teacher and almost-neighbour Daniela del Balzo. “Imagine a mortar as big as this,” Daniela says, opening her arms in the same way she does when she meets me at the market. “Now imagine it filled with potatoes which my brother and I have pounded with parmesan until the mixture is soft and filante” (forming strings). These days Daniela uses a ricer or food mill. I do too, thinking of her. I like the idea that even when you are cooking alone you aren’t alone you are cooking with the person who taught you, whether it be a relative or friend, a voice in a book or newspaper, or on the telly, and perhaps in turn the person who taught them.

To your potato, you add all your New Year resolutions: butter, parmesan, salami if you eat it, and four eggs. Mix everything into a cream. You then press a layer of this mixture into a buttered and breadcrumb-dusted tin, cover that with a layer of mozzarella and smoked cheese, before finishing with another layer of potato, which you sprinkle with breadcrumbs, dot with butter and bake. This dish brings on comforting waves of cheesy, buttery potato nostalgia for me, most of which have nothing to do with Naples.

The quantities below are for a big gattò, which is perfect food for a crowd, or you could make this amount into two dishes one to eat, one for the freezer. If you do make a big one, rest assured it is delicious the next day. I warm a little butter in a frying pan and then re-heat slice by slice, which gives a nice crust. As an accompaniment, I think greens or broccoli ripassati are good. If you don’t add salami, sausages could work. I have of course put a fried egg on top of a slice, because what isn’t better with an egg on top?!


Rachel Roddy's Neapolitan potato and cheese bake

This gattò di patate – a moreish bake of potato, mozzarella, smoked cheese and egg – is Italian comfort food at its best, and just as good in slabs the following day. What’s more, it’s a great canvas for some culinary freestyling – with extra veg, a scattering of sausage or even a fried egg on top .

Last modified on Tue 9 Jul 2019 09.41 BST

M y first job in Rome was waitressing in a ristorante in Trastevere. It was an odd place, big and plush, proud to be more than a trattoria, but also jaded, as if it had seen better days. Jaded and faded, but still able to charm, especially on a Friday and Saturday night when the sunken dining room – which was downright gloomy in the daytime – was softly lit and filled with voices and clinking glasses.

It had a huge menu, which always struck me as a bit of a mess, but what did I know? There was pasta galore of course, but what I remember most is bringing out these huge wooden boards covered in a very bloody – and bloody delicious – beef tagliata, and plates of fish carpaccio. I have clear memories of going down the steps, in one hand a lightweight, pale plateful and in the other a cumbersome, bleeding board. I was completely lopsided. The owner, who was tiny but terrifying, would stare straight into my eye as if to keep me straight.

Much more interesting, though, were the trays that would arrive every now and then. Not from the kitchen, but from the kitchen of the owner’s Neapolitan mother, who, as if to confirm all the romantic clichés I was hoping to encounter in Italy, cooked up huge, deep trays of parmigiana di melanzane and gattò di patate which her son would bring and serve to customers. The small, brick-like slices of goodness-knows-how-much deep-fried aubergine and mozzarella, and sunshine-yellow potato cake, seemed so at odds with the plushness of the place, like wellies with a nice frock, which is perhaps what made them all the more delicious to everyone. Customers who had spurned pasta and bread seemed to have no problem with a big piece of egg-and-cheese-laced potato. My friend Alice and I would make sure we each secured our slice. We kept them behind the bar, and ate them later as we cleared up, possibly talking about customers’ plastic surgery.

This is the third week in row that I am writing about potatoes, which is some clue as to how much we like and rely on them in this kitchen. Today’s recipe for gattò di patate is not from the ristorante – which is long gone – it is from another Neapolitan, my teacher and almost-neighbour Daniela del Balzo. “Imagine a mortar as big as this,” Daniela says, opening her arms in the same way she does when she meets me at the market. “Now imagine it filled with potatoes which my brother and I have pounded with parmesan until the mixture is soft and filante” (forming strings). These days Daniela uses a ricer or food mill. I do too, thinking of her. I like the idea that even when you are cooking alone you aren’t alone you are cooking with the person who taught you, whether it be a relative or friend, a voice in a book or newspaper, or on the telly, and perhaps in turn the person who taught them.

To your potato, you add all your New Year resolutions: butter, parmesan, salami if you eat it, and four eggs. Mix everything into a cream. You then press a layer of this mixture into a buttered and breadcrumb-dusted tin, cover that with a layer of mozzarella and smoked cheese, before finishing with another layer of potato, which you sprinkle with breadcrumbs, dot with butter and bake. This dish brings on comforting waves of cheesy, buttery potato nostalgia for me, most of which have nothing to do with Naples.

The quantities below are for a big gattò, which is perfect food for a crowd, or you could make this amount into two dishes one to eat, one for the freezer. If you do make a big one, rest assured it is delicious the next day. I warm a little butter in a frying pan and then re-heat slice by slice, which gives a nice crust. As an accompaniment, I think greens or broccoli ripassati are good. If you don’t add salami, sausages could work. I have of course put a fried egg on top of a slice, because what isn’t better with an egg on top?!


Rachel Roddy's Neapolitan potato and cheese bake

This gattò di patate – a moreish bake of potato, mozzarella, smoked cheese and egg – is Italian comfort food at its best, and just as good in slabs the following day. What’s more, it’s a great canvas for some culinary freestyling – with extra veg, a scattering of sausage or even a fried egg on top .

Last modified on Tue 9 Jul 2019 09.41 BST

M y first job in Rome was waitressing in a ristorante in Trastevere. It was an odd place, big and plush, proud to be more than a trattoria, but also jaded, as if it had seen better days. Jaded and faded, but still able to charm, especially on a Friday and Saturday night when the sunken dining room – which was downright gloomy in the daytime – was softly lit and filled with voices and clinking glasses.

It had a huge menu, which always struck me as a bit of a mess, but what did I know? There was pasta galore of course, but what I remember most is bringing out these huge wooden boards covered in a very bloody – and bloody delicious – beef tagliata, and plates of fish carpaccio. I have clear memories of going down the steps, in one hand a lightweight, pale plateful and in the other a cumbersome, bleeding board. I was completely lopsided. The owner, who was tiny but terrifying, would stare straight into my eye as if to keep me straight.

Much more interesting, though, were the trays that would arrive every now and then. Not from the kitchen, but from the kitchen of the owner’s Neapolitan mother, who, as if to confirm all the romantic clichés I was hoping to encounter in Italy, cooked up huge, deep trays of parmigiana di melanzane and gattò di patate which her son would bring and serve to customers. The small, brick-like slices of goodness-knows-how-much deep-fried aubergine and mozzarella, and sunshine-yellow potato cake, seemed so at odds with the plushness of the place, like wellies with a nice frock, which is perhaps what made them all the more delicious to everyone. Customers who had spurned pasta and bread seemed to have no problem with a big piece of egg-and-cheese-laced potato. My friend Alice and I would make sure we each secured our slice. We kept them behind the bar, and ate them later as we cleared up, possibly talking about customers’ plastic surgery.

This is the third week in row that I am writing about potatoes, which is some clue as to how much we like and rely on them in this kitchen. Today’s recipe for gattò di patate is not from the ristorante – which is long gone – it is from another Neapolitan, my teacher and almost-neighbour Daniela del Balzo. “Imagine a mortar as big as this,” Daniela says, opening her arms in the same way she does when she meets me at the market. “Now imagine it filled with potatoes which my brother and I have pounded with parmesan until the mixture is soft and filante” (forming strings). These days Daniela uses a ricer or food mill. I do too, thinking of her. I like the idea that even when you are cooking alone you aren’t alone you are cooking with the person who taught you, whether it be a relative or friend, a voice in a book or newspaper, or on the telly, and perhaps in turn the person who taught them.

To your potato, you add all your New Year resolutions: butter, parmesan, salami if you eat it, and four eggs. Mix everything into a cream. You then press a layer of this mixture into a buttered and breadcrumb-dusted tin, cover that with a layer of mozzarella and smoked cheese, before finishing with another layer of potato, which you sprinkle with breadcrumbs, dot with butter and bake. This dish brings on comforting waves of cheesy, buttery potato nostalgia for me, most of which have nothing to do with Naples.

The quantities below are for a big gattò, which is perfect food for a crowd, or you could make this amount into two dishes one to eat, one for the freezer. If you do make a big one, rest assured it is delicious the next day. I warm a little butter in a frying pan and then re-heat slice by slice, which gives a nice crust. As an accompaniment, I think greens or broccoli ripassati are good. If you don’t add salami, sausages could work. I have of course put a fried egg on top of a slice, because what isn’t better with an egg on top?!


Rachel Roddy's Neapolitan potato and cheese bake

This gattò di patate – a moreish bake of potato, mozzarella, smoked cheese and egg – is Italian comfort food at its best, and just as good in slabs the following day. What’s more, it’s a great canvas for some culinary freestyling – with extra veg, a scattering of sausage or even a fried egg on top .

Last modified on Tue 9 Jul 2019 09.41 BST

M y first job in Rome was waitressing in a ristorante in Trastevere. It was an odd place, big and plush, proud to be more than a trattoria, but also jaded, as if it had seen better days. Jaded and faded, but still able to charm, especially on a Friday and Saturday night when the sunken dining room – which was downright gloomy in the daytime – was softly lit and filled with voices and clinking glasses.

It had a huge menu, which always struck me as a bit of a mess, but what did I know? There was pasta galore of course, but what I remember most is bringing out these huge wooden boards covered in a very bloody – and bloody delicious – beef tagliata, and plates of fish carpaccio. I have clear memories of going down the steps, in one hand a lightweight, pale plateful and in the other a cumbersome, bleeding board. I was completely lopsided. The owner, who was tiny but terrifying, would stare straight into my eye as if to keep me straight.

Much more interesting, though, were the trays that would arrive every now and then. Not from the kitchen, but from the kitchen of the owner’s Neapolitan mother, who, as if to confirm all the romantic clichés I was hoping to encounter in Italy, cooked up huge, deep trays of parmigiana di melanzane and gattò di patate which her son would bring and serve to customers. The small, brick-like slices of goodness-knows-how-much deep-fried aubergine and mozzarella, and sunshine-yellow potato cake, seemed so at odds with the plushness of the place, like wellies with a nice frock, which is perhaps what made them all the more delicious to everyone. Customers who had spurned pasta and bread seemed to have no problem with a big piece of egg-and-cheese-laced potato. My friend Alice and I would make sure we each secured our slice. We kept them behind the bar, and ate them later as we cleared up, possibly talking about customers’ plastic surgery.

This is the third week in row that I am writing about potatoes, which is some clue as to how much we like and rely on them in this kitchen. Today’s recipe for gattò di patate is not from the ristorante – which is long gone – it is from another Neapolitan, my teacher and almost-neighbour Daniela del Balzo. “Imagine a mortar as big as this,” Daniela says, opening her arms in the same way she does when she meets me at the market. “Now imagine it filled with potatoes which my brother and I have pounded with parmesan until the mixture is soft and filante” (forming strings). These days Daniela uses a ricer or food mill. I do too, thinking of her. I like the idea that even when you are cooking alone you aren’t alone you are cooking with the person who taught you, whether it be a relative or friend, a voice in a book or newspaper, or on the telly, and perhaps in turn the person who taught them.

To your potato, you add all your New Year resolutions: butter, parmesan, salami if you eat it, and four eggs. Mix everything into a cream. You then press a layer of this mixture into a buttered and breadcrumb-dusted tin, cover that with a layer of mozzarella and smoked cheese, before finishing with another layer of potato, which you sprinkle with breadcrumbs, dot with butter and bake. This dish brings on comforting waves of cheesy, buttery potato nostalgia for me, most of which have nothing to do with Naples.

The quantities below are for a big gattò, which is perfect food for a crowd, or you could make this amount into two dishes one to eat, one for the freezer. If you do make a big one, rest assured it is delicious the next day. I warm a little butter in a frying pan and then re-heat slice by slice, which gives a nice crust. As an accompaniment, I think greens or broccoli ripassati are good. If you don’t add salami, sausages could work. I have of course put a fried egg on top of a slice, because what isn’t better with an egg on top?!


Rachel Roddy's Neapolitan potato and cheese bake

This gattò di patate – a moreish bake of potato, mozzarella, smoked cheese and egg – is Italian comfort food at its best, and just as good in slabs the following day. What’s more, it’s a great canvas for some culinary freestyling – with extra veg, a scattering of sausage or even a fried egg on top .

Last modified on Tue 9 Jul 2019 09.41 BST

M y first job in Rome was waitressing in a ristorante in Trastevere. It was an odd place, big and plush, proud to be more than a trattoria, but also jaded, as if it had seen better days. Jaded and faded, but still able to charm, especially on a Friday and Saturday night when the sunken dining room – which was downright gloomy in the daytime – was softly lit and filled with voices and clinking glasses.

It had a huge menu, which always struck me as a bit of a mess, but what did I know? There was pasta galore of course, but what I remember most is bringing out these huge wooden boards covered in a very bloody – and bloody delicious – beef tagliata, and plates of fish carpaccio. I have clear memories of going down the steps, in one hand a lightweight, pale plateful and in the other a cumbersome, bleeding board. I was completely lopsided. The owner, who was tiny but terrifying, would stare straight into my eye as if to keep me straight.

Much more interesting, though, were the trays that would arrive every now and then. Not from the kitchen, but from the kitchen of the owner’s Neapolitan mother, who, as if to confirm all the romantic clichés I was hoping to encounter in Italy, cooked up huge, deep trays of parmigiana di melanzane and gattò di patate which her son would bring and serve to customers. The small, brick-like slices of goodness-knows-how-much deep-fried aubergine and mozzarella, and sunshine-yellow potato cake, seemed so at odds with the plushness of the place, like wellies with a nice frock, which is perhaps what made them all the more delicious to everyone. Customers who had spurned pasta and bread seemed to have no problem with a big piece of egg-and-cheese-laced potato. My friend Alice and I would make sure we each secured our slice. We kept them behind the bar, and ate them later as we cleared up, possibly talking about customers’ plastic surgery.

This is the third week in row that I am writing about potatoes, which is some clue as to how much we like and rely on them in this kitchen. Today’s recipe for gattò di patate is not from the ristorante – which is long gone – it is from another Neapolitan, my teacher and almost-neighbour Daniela del Balzo. “Imagine a mortar as big as this,” Daniela says, opening her arms in the same way she does when she meets me at the market. “Now imagine it filled with potatoes which my brother and I have pounded with parmesan until the mixture is soft and filante” (forming strings). These days Daniela uses a ricer or food mill. I do too, thinking of her. I like the idea that even when you are cooking alone you aren’t alone you are cooking with the person who taught you, whether it be a relative or friend, a voice in a book or newspaper, or on the telly, and perhaps in turn the person who taught them.

To your potato, you add all your New Year resolutions: butter, parmesan, salami if you eat it, and four eggs. Mix everything into a cream. You then press a layer of this mixture into a buttered and breadcrumb-dusted tin, cover that with a layer of mozzarella and smoked cheese, before finishing with another layer of potato, which you sprinkle with breadcrumbs, dot with butter and bake. This dish brings on comforting waves of cheesy, buttery potato nostalgia for me, most of which have nothing to do with Naples.

The quantities below are for a big gattò, which is perfect food for a crowd, or you could make this amount into two dishes one to eat, one for the freezer. If you do make a big one, rest assured it is delicious the next day. I warm a little butter in a frying pan and then re-heat slice by slice, which gives a nice crust. As an accompaniment, I think greens or broccoli ripassati are good. If you don’t add salami, sausages could work. I have of course put a fried egg on top of a slice, because what isn’t better with an egg on top?!


Rachel Roddy's Neapolitan potato and cheese bake

This gattò di patate – a moreish bake of potato, mozzarella, smoked cheese and egg – is Italian comfort food at its best, and just as good in slabs the following day. What’s more, it’s a great canvas for some culinary freestyling – with extra veg, a scattering of sausage or even a fried egg on top .

Last modified on Tue 9 Jul 2019 09.41 BST

M y first job in Rome was waitressing in a ristorante in Trastevere. It was an odd place, big and plush, proud to be more than a trattoria, but also jaded, as if it had seen better days. Jaded and faded, but still able to charm, especially on a Friday and Saturday night when the sunken dining room – which was downright gloomy in the daytime – was softly lit and filled with voices and clinking glasses.

It had a huge menu, which always struck me as a bit of a mess, but what did I know? There was pasta galore of course, but what I remember most is bringing out these huge wooden boards covered in a very bloody – and bloody delicious – beef tagliata, and plates of fish carpaccio. I have clear memories of going down the steps, in one hand a lightweight, pale plateful and in the other a cumbersome, bleeding board. I was completely lopsided. The owner, who was tiny but terrifying, would stare straight into my eye as if to keep me straight.

Much more interesting, though, were the trays that would arrive every now and then. Not from the kitchen, but from the kitchen of the owner’s Neapolitan mother, who, as if to confirm all the romantic clichés I was hoping to encounter in Italy, cooked up huge, deep trays of parmigiana di melanzane and gattò di patate which her son would bring and serve to customers. The small, brick-like slices of goodness-knows-how-much deep-fried aubergine and mozzarella, and sunshine-yellow potato cake, seemed so at odds with the plushness of the place, like wellies with a nice frock, which is perhaps what made them all the more delicious to everyone. Customers who had spurned pasta and bread seemed to have no problem with a big piece of egg-and-cheese-laced potato. My friend Alice and I would make sure we each secured our slice. We kept them behind the bar, and ate them later as we cleared up, possibly talking about customers’ plastic surgery.

This is the third week in row that I am writing about potatoes, which is some clue as to how much we like and rely on them in this kitchen. Today’s recipe for gattò di patate is not from the ristorante – which is long gone – it is from another Neapolitan, my teacher and almost-neighbour Daniela del Balzo. “Imagine a mortar as big as this,” Daniela says, opening her arms in the same way she does when she meets me at the market. “Now imagine it filled with potatoes which my brother and I have pounded with parmesan until the mixture is soft and filante” (forming strings). These days Daniela uses a ricer or food mill. I do too, thinking of her. I like the idea that even when you are cooking alone you aren’t alone you are cooking with the person who taught you, whether it be a relative or friend, a voice in a book or newspaper, or on the telly, and perhaps in turn the person who taught them.

To your potato, you add all your New Year resolutions: butter, parmesan, salami if you eat it, and four eggs. Mix everything into a cream. You then press a layer of this mixture into a buttered and breadcrumb-dusted tin, cover that with a layer of mozzarella and smoked cheese, before finishing with another layer of potato, which you sprinkle with breadcrumbs, dot with butter and bake. This dish brings on comforting waves of cheesy, buttery potato nostalgia for me, most of which have nothing to do with Naples.

The quantities below are for a big gattò, which is perfect food for a crowd, or you could make this amount into two dishes one to eat, one for the freezer. If you do make a big one, rest assured it is delicious the next day. I warm a little butter in a frying pan and then re-heat slice by slice, which gives a nice crust. As an accompaniment, I think greens or broccoli ripassati are good. If you don’t add salami, sausages could work. I have of course put a fried egg on top of a slice, because what isn’t better with an egg on top?!


Rachel Roddy's Neapolitan potato and cheese bake

This gattò di patate – a moreish bake of potato, mozzarella, smoked cheese and egg – is Italian comfort food at its best, and just as good in slabs the following day. What’s more, it’s a great canvas for some culinary freestyling – with extra veg, a scattering of sausage or even a fried egg on top .

Last modified on Tue 9 Jul 2019 09.41 BST

M y first job in Rome was waitressing in a ristorante in Trastevere. It was an odd place, big and plush, proud to be more than a trattoria, but also jaded, as if it had seen better days. Jaded and faded, but still able to charm, especially on a Friday and Saturday night when the sunken dining room – which was downright gloomy in the daytime – was softly lit and filled with voices and clinking glasses.

It had a huge menu, which always struck me as a bit of a mess, but what did I know? There was pasta galore of course, but what I remember most is bringing out these huge wooden boards covered in a very bloody – and bloody delicious – beef tagliata, and plates of fish carpaccio. I have clear memories of going down the steps, in one hand a lightweight, pale plateful and in the other a cumbersome, bleeding board. I was completely lopsided. The owner, who was tiny but terrifying, would stare straight into my eye as if to keep me straight.

Much more interesting, though, were the trays that would arrive every now and then. Not from the kitchen, but from the kitchen of the owner’s Neapolitan mother, who, as if to confirm all the romantic clichés I was hoping to encounter in Italy, cooked up huge, deep trays of parmigiana di melanzane and gattò di patate which her son would bring and serve to customers. The small, brick-like slices of goodness-knows-how-much deep-fried aubergine and mozzarella, and sunshine-yellow potato cake, seemed so at odds with the plushness of the place, like wellies with a nice frock, which is perhaps what made them all the more delicious to everyone. Customers who had spurned pasta and bread seemed to have no problem with a big piece of egg-and-cheese-laced potato. My friend Alice and I would make sure we each secured our slice. We kept them behind the bar, and ate them later as we cleared up, possibly talking about customers’ plastic surgery.

This is the third week in row that I am writing about potatoes, which is some clue as to how much we like and rely on them in this kitchen. Today’s recipe for gattò di patate is not from the ristorante – which is long gone – it is from another Neapolitan, my teacher and almost-neighbour Daniela del Balzo. “Imagine a mortar as big as this,” Daniela says, opening her arms in the same way she does when she meets me at the market. “Now imagine it filled with potatoes which my brother and I have pounded with parmesan until the mixture is soft and filante” (forming strings). These days Daniela uses a ricer or food mill. I do too, thinking of her. I like the idea that even when you are cooking alone you aren’t alone you are cooking with the person who taught you, whether it be a relative or friend, a voice in a book or newspaper, or on the telly, and perhaps in turn the person who taught them.

To your potato, you add all your New Year resolutions: butter, parmesan, salami if you eat it, and four eggs. Mix everything into a cream. You then press a layer of this mixture into a buttered and breadcrumb-dusted tin, cover that with a layer of mozzarella and smoked cheese, before finishing with another layer of potato, which you sprinkle with breadcrumbs, dot with butter and bake. This dish brings on comforting waves of cheesy, buttery potato nostalgia for me, most of which have nothing to do with Naples.

The quantities below are for a big gattò, which is perfect food for a crowd, or you could make this amount into two dishes one to eat, one for the freezer. If you do make a big one, rest assured it is delicious the next day. I warm a little butter in a frying pan and then re-heat slice by slice, which gives a nice crust. As an accompaniment, I think greens or broccoli ripassati are good. If you don’t add salami, sausages could work. I have of course put a fried egg on top of a slice, because what isn’t better with an egg on top?!


Rachel Roddy's Neapolitan potato and cheese bake

This gattò di patate – a moreish bake of potato, mozzarella, smoked cheese and egg – is Italian comfort food at its best, and just as good in slabs the following day. What’s more, it’s a great canvas for some culinary freestyling – with extra veg, a scattering of sausage or even a fried egg on top .

Last modified on Tue 9 Jul 2019 09.41 BST

M y first job in Rome was waitressing in a ristorante in Trastevere. It was an odd place, big and plush, proud to be more than a trattoria, but also jaded, as if it had seen better days. Jaded and faded, but still able to charm, especially on a Friday and Saturday night when the sunken dining room – which was downright gloomy in the daytime – was softly lit and filled with voices and clinking glasses.

It had a huge menu, which always struck me as a bit of a mess, but what did I know? There was pasta galore of course, but what I remember most is bringing out these huge wooden boards covered in a very bloody – and bloody delicious – beef tagliata, and plates of fish carpaccio. I have clear memories of going down the steps, in one hand a lightweight, pale plateful and in the other a cumbersome, bleeding board. I was completely lopsided. The owner, who was tiny but terrifying, would stare straight into my eye as if to keep me straight.

Much more interesting, though, were the trays that would arrive every now and then. Not from the kitchen, but from the kitchen of the owner’s Neapolitan mother, who, as if to confirm all the romantic clichés I was hoping to encounter in Italy, cooked up huge, deep trays of parmigiana di melanzane and gattò di patate which her son would bring and serve to customers. The small, brick-like slices of goodness-knows-how-much deep-fried aubergine and mozzarella, and sunshine-yellow potato cake, seemed so at odds with the plushness of the place, like wellies with a nice frock, which is perhaps what made them all the more delicious to everyone. Customers who had spurned pasta and bread seemed to have no problem with a big piece of egg-and-cheese-laced potato. My friend Alice and I would make sure we each secured our slice. We kept them behind the bar, and ate them later as we cleared up, possibly talking about customers’ plastic surgery.

This is the third week in row that I am writing about potatoes, which is some clue as to how much we like and rely on them in this kitchen. Today’s recipe for gattò di patate is not from the ristorante – which is long gone – it is from another Neapolitan, my teacher and almost-neighbour Daniela del Balzo. “Imagine a mortar as big as this,” Daniela says, opening her arms in the same way she does when she meets me at the market. “Now imagine it filled with potatoes which my brother and I have pounded with parmesan until the mixture is soft and filante” (forming strings). These days Daniela uses a ricer or food mill. I do too, thinking of her. I like the idea that even when you are cooking alone you aren’t alone you are cooking with the person who taught you, whether it be a relative or friend, a voice in a book or newspaper, or on the telly, and perhaps in turn the person who taught them.

To your potato, you add all your New Year resolutions: butter, parmesan, salami if you eat it, and four eggs. Mix everything into a cream. You then press a layer of this mixture into a buttered and breadcrumb-dusted tin, cover that with a layer of mozzarella and smoked cheese, before finishing with another layer of potato, which you sprinkle with breadcrumbs, dot with butter and bake. This dish brings on comforting waves of cheesy, buttery potato nostalgia for me, most of which have nothing to do with Naples.

The quantities below are for a big gattò, which is perfect food for a crowd, or you could make this amount into two dishes one to eat, one for the freezer. If you do make a big one, rest assured it is delicious the next day. I warm a little butter in a frying pan and then re-heat slice by slice, which gives a nice crust. As an accompaniment, I think greens or broccoli ripassati are good. If you don’t add salami, sausages could work. I have of course put a fried egg on top of a slice, because what isn’t better with an egg on top?!


Rachel Roddy's Neapolitan potato and cheese bake

This gattò di patate – a moreish bake of potato, mozzarella, smoked cheese and egg – is Italian comfort food at its best, and just as good in slabs the following day. What’s more, it’s a great canvas for some culinary freestyling – with extra veg, a scattering of sausage or even a fried egg on top .

Last modified on Tue 9 Jul 2019 09.41 BST

M y first job in Rome was waitressing in a ristorante in Trastevere. It was an odd place, big and plush, proud to be more than a trattoria, but also jaded, as if it had seen better days. Jaded and faded, but still able to charm, especially on a Friday and Saturday night when the sunken dining room – which was downright gloomy in the daytime – was softly lit and filled with voices and clinking glasses.

It had a huge menu, which always struck me as a bit of a mess, but what did I know? There was pasta galore of course, but what I remember most is bringing out these huge wooden boards covered in a very bloody – and bloody delicious – beef tagliata, and plates of fish carpaccio. I have clear memories of going down the steps, in one hand a lightweight, pale plateful and in the other a cumbersome, bleeding board. I was completely lopsided. The owner, who was tiny but terrifying, would stare straight into my eye as if to keep me straight.

Much more interesting, though, were the trays that would arrive every now and then. Not from the kitchen, but from the kitchen of the owner’s Neapolitan mother, who, as if to confirm all the romantic clichés I was hoping to encounter in Italy, cooked up huge, deep trays of parmigiana di melanzane and gattò di patate which her son would bring and serve to customers. The small, brick-like slices of goodness-knows-how-much deep-fried aubergine and mozzarella, and sunshine-yellow potato cake, seemed so at odds with the plushness of the place, like wellies with a nice frock, which is perhaps what made them all the more delicious to everyone. Customers who had spurned pasta and bread seemed to have no problem with a big piece of egg-and-cheese-laced potato. My friend Alice and I would make sure we each secured our slice. We kept them behind the bar, and ate them later as we cleared up, possibly talking about customers’ plastic surgery.

This is the third week in row that I am writing about potatoes, which is some clue as to how much we like and rely on them in this kitchen. Today’s recipe for gattò di patate is not from the ristorante – which is long gone – it is from another Neapolitan, my teacher and almost-neighbour Daniela del Balzo. “Imagine a mortar as big as this,” Daniela says, opening her arms in the same way she does when she meets me at the market. “Now imagine it filled with potatoes which my brother and I have pounded with parmesan until the mixture is soft and filante” (forming strings). These days Daniela uses a ricer or food mill. I do too, thinking of her. I like the idea that even when you are cooking alone you aren’t alone you are cooking with the person who taught you, whether it be a relative or friend, a voice in a book or newspaper, or on the telly, and perhaps in turn the person who taught them.

To your potato, you add all your New Year resolutions: butter, parmesan, salami if you eat it, and four eggs. Mix everything into a cream. You then press a layer of this mixture into a buttered and breadcrumb-dusted tin, cover that with a layer of mozzarella and smoked cheese, before finishing with another layer of potato, which you sprinkle with breadcrumbs, dot with butter and bake. This dish brings on comforting waves of cheesy, buttery potato nostalgia for me, most of which have nothing to do with Naples.

The quantities below are for a big gattò, which is perfect food for a crowd, or you could make this amount into two dishes one to eat, one for the freezer. If you do make a big one, rest assured it is delicious the next day. I warm a little butter in a frying pan and then re-heat slice by slice, which gives a nice crust. As an accompaniment, I think greens or broccoli ripassati are good. If you don’t add salami, sausages could work. I have of course put a fried egg on top of a slice, because what isn’t better with an egg on top?!


Rachel Roddy's Neapolitan potato and cheese bake

This gattò di patate – a moreish bake of potato, mozzarella, smoked cheese and egg – is Italian comfort food at its best, and just as good in slabs the following day. What’s more, it’s a great canvas for some culinary freestyling – with extra veg, a scattering of sausage or even a fried egg on top .

Last modified on Tue 9 Jul 2019 09.41 BST

M y first job in Rome was waitressing in a ristorante in Trastevere. It was an odd place, big and plush, proud to be more than a trattoria, but also jaded, as if it had seen better days. Jaded and faded, but still able to charm, especially on a Friday and Saturday night when the sunken dining room – which was downright gloomy in the daytime – was softly lit and filled with voices and clinking glasses.

It had a huge menu, which always struck me as a bit of a mess, but what did I know? There was pasta galore of course, but what I remember most is bringing out these huge wooden boards covered in a very bloody – and bloody delicious – beef tagliata, and plates of fish carpaccio. I have clear memories of going down the steps, in one hand a lightweight, pale plateful and in the other a cumbersome, bleeding board. I was completely lopsided. The owner, who was tiny but terrifying, would stare straight into my eye as if to keep me straight.

Much more interesting, though, were the trays that would arrive every now and then. Not from the kitchen, but from the kitchen of the owner’s Neapolitan mother, who, as if to confirm all the romantic clichés I was hoping to encounter in Italy, cooked up huge, deep trays of parmigiana di melanzane and gattò di patate which her son would bring and serve to customers. The small, brick-like slices of goodness-knows-how-much deep-fried aubergine and mozzarella, and sunshine-yellow potato cake, seemed so at odds with the plushness of the place, like wellies with a nice frock, which is perhaps what made them all the more delicious to everyone. Customers who had spurned pasta and bread seemed to have no problem with a big piece of egg-and-cheese-laced potato. My friend Alice and I would make sure we each secured our slice. We kept them behind the bar, and ate them later as we cleared up, possibly talking about customers’ plastic surgery.

This is the third week in row that I am writing about potatoes, which is some clue as to how much we like and rely on them in this kitchen. Today’s recipe for gattò di patate is not from the ristorante – which is long gone – it is from another Neapolitan, my teacher and almost-neighbour Daniela del Balzo. “Imagine a mortar as big as this,” Daniela says, opening her arms in the same way she does when she meets me at the market. “Now imagine it filled with potatoes which my brother and I have pounded with parmesan until the mixture is soft and filante” (forming strings). These days Daniela uses a ricer or food mill. I do too, thinking of her. I like the idea that even when you are cooking alone you aren’t alone you are cooking with the person who taught you, whether it be a relative or friend, a voice in a book or newspaper, or on the telly, and perhaps in turn the person who taught them.

To your potato, you add all your New Year resolutions: butter, parmesan, salami if you eat it, and four eggs. Mix everything into a cream. You then press a layer of this mixture into a buttered and breadcrumb-dusted tin, cover that with a layer of mozzarella and smoked cheese, before finishing with another layer of potato, which you sprinkle with breadcrumbs, dot with butter and bake. This dish brings on comforting waves of cheesy, buttery potato nostalgia for me, most of which have nothing to do with Naples.

The quantities below are for a big gattò, which is perfect food for a crowd, or you could make this amount into two dishes one to eat, one for the freezer. If you do make a big one, rest assured it is delicious the next day. I warm a little butter in a frying pan and then re-heat slice by slice, which gives a nice crust. As an accompaniment, I think greens or broccoli ripassati are good. If you don’t add salami, sausages could work. I have of course put a fried egg on top of a slice, because what isn’t better with an egg on top?!


Watch the video: Fabrizio Gatti Educazione Americana - Radio Lombardia (December 2021).