Ciao Italia Family Classics
Mary Ann returns to her family's humble beginnings to bring us a treasure trove of more than 200 time-honored recipes.
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SERVES 4 TO 6
At first this sounds like just another mashed potato recipe, but the dish is elevated to something more with the addition of a cream sauce that is folded into the potatoes before being baked. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and a whiff of nutmeg complete the nice balance of flavors. Serve this with roasted chicken or with steak.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached, All Purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons finely minced parsley leaves
Use 1 tablespoon of the butter to grease an 8-inch baking pan. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs over the butter and set the pan aside.
Put the potatoes in a saucepan, cover them with cold water, and cook the potatoes until they are soft. Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan. Heat the potatoes briefly on low heat to "dry them".
Transfer the potatoes to a ricer and rice them over a large bowl, or mash them with a hand masher until they are smooth. Stir in 1/4 cup of the milk, the cheese, and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Cover the bowl and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
In a small saucepan melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour to form a smooth paste. Slowly pour in the remaining milk, whisking continually. Cook the mixture until it thickens slightly, just enough to coat a spoon. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the salt, nutmeg, and parsley. Stir in the eggs, one at a time, and blend well.
Transfer the sauce to the bowl with the mashed potatoes and combine the two until the sauce and the potatoes are well blended. Spread the mixture in the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining bread crumbs evenly over the top of the potatoes and dot with the remaining butter.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until heated through and the top is nicely browned. Serve immediately, directly from the pan.
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