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Italian Potato Cake

From
Serves 8-10

A savory baked mashed potato casserole served at the Rosemont Inn for breakfast,
but also perfect for lunch or dinner as a main or side dish.

6 T. unsalted butter
5 T. Plain breadcrumbs
3 pounds russet potatoes (about 6 medium), peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream or milk
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
3-4 large eggs
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1/4 pound thinly sliced salami, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 pound thinly sliced ham, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, optional
1/4 cup ricotta cheese, optional
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, optional

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and place rack on middle shelf. Butter 9 inch spring form pan (or casserole dish) and sprinkle with 1/4 cup breadcrumbs.
  2. Place potatoes in large pot and cover with water. Bring potatoes to boil and simmer about 15 minutes until fork tender. Drain potatoes, return to pot and mash with 4 T. butter. Stir in cream, salt and pepper. Cool for 5 minutes then stir in eggs one at time. If mixture looks like thin mashed potatoes after adding 3rd egg, do not add the 4th. If it still seems stiff, an additional egg will help the casserole puff while baking.
  3. Fold in mozzarella, salami and most of the Parmesan cheese. Also, add any optional ingredients that you are using. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
  4. Combine remaining breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and 1 T. melted butter. Sprinkle evenly over potatoes.
  5. Bake casserole 35 to 45 minutes until casserole is puffed and golden brown. Run pairing knife around spring form pan to loosen. Cool for 10 minutes before unmolding. Serve hot with fluffy scrambled eggs or vegetable filled omelet.