Tag Archives: frittata

A Monday Kind of Pasta Frittata

As Summer finally (maybe) comes to an end, leaving a checkerboard path of meatless meals in its wake, I am again moving into “Meatless Mondays.” I am also once again cleaning out the refrigerator, putting ingredients to use before they are useless. That being said this recipe would be wonderful even if it was planned in advance.

I have just returned from a wonderful visit with California friends. While I was living it up in a penthouse suite overlooking the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, Papa D was left to his own devices as far as meals were concerned. One evening he cooked a pound of pasta to go with the container of Sunday Gravy that I had left in the refrigerator. Wisely, he decided to save some of the pasta  to scramble with eggs (his idea).

Liking the idea when I got home, I ran with it. There were a few other leftovers that needed rescuing. Peppers, tomatoes and some cheese all were nearing the end of the road so they gathered together to become a pasta frittata.This dish, and the use of pasta, is popular in many areas of Italy. It can be labeled Neapolitan or Sicilian and is probably claimed by many other regions, but it always seems to use leftover pasta as its base. Techniques can vary, but I like cooking the vegetables first.and adding the pasta second. Olive oil is a driving force in this process as is initial high heat. Once the eggs are added along with some cheese, things need to get low and slow. This is a dense dish that takes time to set. This also allows time to enjoy the fragrance that the garlic and other vegetables create.When the frittata is almost set, it gets crowned with a little more cheese (a hard grating cheese is best. Asiago, Romano or Parmesan are good choices) and heads for the broiler. Lightly golden and ever so slightly crusty it is ready for its close up. A sprinkling of basil or any other available herb gives it a little more color.This makes a lovely weeknight supper, but it is just as at home for a weekend brunch. The format is easy and lends itself to whatever embellishment you want to add. This served two lavishly and could easily serve more with a salad and some crusty bread added.  

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Pasta Frittata
Servings: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 3/4 Cup Thinly sliced Onions
  • 3/4 Cup Thinly sliced Sweet Peppers
  • 2 cloves Garlic Chopped
  • 1 Cup Grape Tomatoes Halved
  • 2 Cups Cooked Pasta
  • 4 Eggs Beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. Milk
  • 1 Tsp. Italian Hebs
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Italian Cheese Divided
  • 1/4 Cup Thinly sliced Basil
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in an oven proof skillet. Add the onions and peppers and cook stirring occasionally until softened and beginning to brown. 5-7 minutes.

  2. Add the garlic and tomatoes to the pan and cook another 3 - 4 minutes. The garlic should be fragrant and the tomatoes should begin to soften.

  3. Add the pasta and toss to combine the ingredients. Continue to cook, tossing occasionally until the pasta begins to take on some color, another  5 minutes or so.

  4. Heat the oven to broil. Beat the eggs, milk and half of the cheese together until well blended. Stir in the Italian herbs. Carefully pour the egg mixture into the pan so that it is even.

  5. Lower the heat to medium and cook lifting the edges of the egg to allow the mixture to cook through. Once the eggs are almost set, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and transfer to the oven.

  6. Broil until the top is golden and the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the basil and serve.

I don’t want to cut anyone’s weekend short, but Monday is just around the corner. If you make pasta over the weekend, make a little extra…a frittata might be just the way to begin the “Meatless Monday” tradition.

 

Supper in the Summer: Pizza Frittata

I believe that we have established that summer is officially here. The calendar has caught up with the weather and we are (suntanned) shoulder deep in warm, sunny, summer. The warmer temperatures and the longer days make light suppers the thing to do. Of course, there is the required amount of grilling, but the stove can also turn out some fantastic meals often from the humblest of ingredients. Take the “incredible, edible, (& cheap), egg.” Can you say Frittata?

I’ve shared frittata recipes before, but there’s always room for one more. I call this a Pizza Frittata. Now don’t take the name too literally. This eggie wonder has the essence of pizza, that is, peppers and onions laced with garlic, seasoned with ground fennel and red pepper flakes. That’s right. Classic pizza toppings with what in my kitchen are the spices that make sausage Italian. Where’s the meat?  Not here. No need. This flavor combination doesn’t miss it. So, while it is delicious any time, it can be a Marvelous Meatless Monday Meal. (Don’t you love alliteration?)

This particular pizza was going to be the “Vegetable Lover” variety so it had to start with summer bright veggies. It is Mama D’s Kitchen, so onion and garlic had to be represented, tooIMG_1974

The magic took shape in my smallest of cast iron skillets which is the perfect size for a frittata for two. It is also the perfect vessel, as it can go from stove top to broiler without a worry. Olive oil coated the bottom of the skillet and in went the onions.IMG_1975I wanted them to caramelize a bit before the peppers and garlic joined them. Once everyone was happily co-mingling, I added the red pepper flakes and ground fennel. A quick note on ground fennel; it is not necessary. Crushed fennel seeds will work. You could go even more rustic and use the seeds whole, just give them a rub between your hands to release the fragrance (and a beautiful one it is).IMG_1977Every frittata needs  eggs and I used 5. Yes, four would have worked, but I was feeling a bit generous and hungry so five it was. I beat them well and added some fat free half & half along with grated Romano cheese and Italian Herb Blend. The eggs waited stove side with some sliced tomatoes and fresh cilegine that would become the final toppings.IMG_1980

So, when the time was right, I added the eggs to the skillet and cooked them until they were almost set. As mentioned in other posts, this is a process that involves patience, and a good amount of jiggling, lifting, and otherwise manipulating the mixture. Once everything was perfect, it was time to crown it with the tomatoes and mozzarella.IMG_1984A little more Italian herb blend and a drizzle of olive oil and under the broiler it went. This step doesn’t take long and should be closely monitored as beautifully golden can become horribly charred in a matter of seconds. I was vigilant and the frittata came out perfectly browned. IMG_1986It rested for 5 minutes and could sit even longer if needed. We were hungry, so we went with the 5 minutes. This was wonderful on its own, but as with any good Italian meal, a little crusty bread and a salad would be great.IMG_1989

Pizza Frittata
Print Recipe
Servings
2
Servings
2
Pizza Frittata
Print Recipe
Servings
2
Servings
2
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat a small oven proof skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add the onions and cook until softened and just beginning to brown, about 5 - 7 minutes.
  3. Add the peppers and the garlic and continue to cook another 5 - 7 minutes until everything is slightly golden.
  4. Beat the eggs with the half & half and grated Romano Cheese. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in the skillet.
  5. Shake, tip and otherwise gently move the eggs around allowing the mixture to cook until almost set. This can take up to 10 minutes depending on the stove and your diligence.
  6. Preheat the broiler. When everything is almost set, top the eggs with the sliced tomatoes and the cilegine .
  7. Place the skillet in the broiler and cook until the top is lightly browned and the cheese has melted
  8. Remove from the broiler and allow to sit 5 - 10 minutes. Drizzle with a little olive oil, cut in half, and serve.
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The flavors were lovely. The onions and peppers retained a bit of crunch that complimented the creamy texture of the eggs. A crisp white wine was the perfect accompaniment. 

There are hundreds of ways you can take a frittata, so look at this recipe as your invitation to create your own adventure. 

Another Meatless Monday Creation (yeah, really) – Zucchini Pasta Frittata

We are still enjoying Meatless Mondays in Mama D’s Kitchen. I’ve shared many meatless recipes here and not to flog the proverbial dead horse, but one more is about to be shared. You can consider this your spoiler alert. My feelings will only be hurt a little if you choose to bypass this offering, but before you turn away, give this little treasure a “lookie see”, you may be impressed.069

Eggs were speaking to me one recent Monday and they were telling me that they wanted to be a frittata when they grew up. That seemed like a reasonable request, so I embarked on a search to find worthy companionship for them. The refrigerator yielded several zucchini and a jalapeno, the pantry offered a jar of roasted red peppers, and onions and garlic left their place of honor on the counter to join in the merriment. I even found a lonely sliver of mozzarella cheese that begged to tag along.

I wanted to do something different with the zucchini, after all it is pretty standard fare in the frittatas that come out of the kitchen. I remembered seeing several recipes for Pasta Frittatas that made use of left over spaghetti. I had no left over pasta and it being Monday and all, I was trying to get things on a less “carb heavy” track after the weekend. We all know that “Zucchini Pasta” is a current darling of lighter cooking, so it was a natural leap to get out the spiralizer and crank out a pile of green (and white) goodness to replace the starchy alternative.049As with any good fritatta, it is at its best when layers of flavor come together. Mama D’s Trinity (Garlic-Onions-Olive Oil) was joined by the chopped jalapeno. They cooked to golden loveliness before I added the zucchini.057The zucchini took mere minutes to cook to “al dente” creating a bed of veggie delight ready for their egg bath. The eggs were gently cooked to the point of almost being set. everyone has their own technique for cooking a frittata. I’m of the shake, lift, and be patient school. All of this paid off, and the eggs cooked to almost set perfection. As a crowning touch, I added some shredded mozzarella and roasted red pepper strips before dispatching it to the broiler.

A quick note here: I do not have an “oven friendly” medium skillet. I know, shame on me. I did however, have a skillet with a non-ovenproof handle and some foil.  Wrapping the foil tightly around the handle made the pan more or less oven safe. See, it was worth reading this just for that handy little tip.  070The magic happened and the frittata came out golden and bubbly. This was the perfect  size for two (we’re talking Mama D size servings here), but it could easily serve three or maybe four if you added some crusty bread, a nice salad and a killer dessert. 073

Zucchini Pasta Fritatta
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Servings
3
Servings
3
Zucchini Pasta Fritatta
Print Recipe
Servings
3
Servings
3
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium oven friendly skillet. If you don't have one, wrap the handle of a non-oven friendly one tightly with foil.
  2. Add the onion and jalapeno and cook for 3 minutes or so until things get soft and fragrant.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes until everything is golden and smells heavenly.
  4. Add the zucchini and toss to combine with the oil and veggies already in the pan. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the zucchini begins to wilt and takes on some color.
  5. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl with the half & half. Add a little salt and pepper or any other seasoning of your choice.
  6. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in the pan and shake the pan to distribute the eggs and begin the "not sticking" process.
  7. As the eggs cook around the edge, lift gently with a spatula to allow the uncooked egg to get to the bottom. Continue to cook, shake, and lift until the eggs are almost set.
  8. Top with the red pepper strips and the grated cheese. Place the pan under the broiler and allow to cook until the top is set and the cheese is melted and golden.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.
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With warmer weather more or less coming to stay (except for the almost frost last night), light suppers will be occurring more often. Eggs are such a versatile base and the choice of vegetables, herbs, and seasonings are as wild as your imagination. Give a frittata a try. It’s easy, quick and almost foolproof.

Frittata For Two and Other Thoughts

This is a story about making a frittata for dinner, but there’s more to it than that. Let me start by saying we have been feeling a little under the weather. Call it a cold…call it the flu…whatever, we have been struggling to stay upright for several days. I wanted to fix something for dinner, but I wanted it to be light and easy. Eggs are always a good choice when it comes to filling that particular bill, and a frittata is a simple way to prepare them. It also is a good way to clean out the refrigerator.

Frittata starts on the stove and is finished in the oven. This requires an oven proof cooking DIGITAL CAMERAvessel. Enter the cast iron skillet. I discovered my mother’s old skillet when we moved and it was the perfect size for a two person frittata. There was just one problem. My mother was a dish washing fanatic and the skillet was no exception to that rule. While it had seen its fair share of eggs, it had also seen a lot of dish soap. I gave it a quick seasoning in the oven that helped the sticking factor a bit. It is getting a formal seasoning as I write this and it should be ready for its next close-up soon; that is to say, now.DIGITAL CAMERA

I decided to go for an Italian flavor profile with a nod to healthy choices. The key ingredients would be chicken sausage and baby spinach. Things couldn’t be Italian without  a fair amount of onion and garlic.DIGITAL CAMERAI’m a big fan of the Chicken Sausage that Meijer sells. They have several varieties. The Garlic and Asiago is my favorite, but they have a spinach and mozzarella as well as a chipotle pepper version. They are lower in fat but big on flavor. They are also pre-cooked so prep time shrinks while the sausage doesn’t.

I added a roasted red pepper for a little color. A week or so ago I scored a huge bag of red bell peppers for 99 cents. I sliced and froze some and roasted a few more. I created little roasted pepper packets each holding a whole roasted pepper (peeled, skinned and quartered, of course).DIGITAL CAMERA It was just the amount I needed for color and flavor in my frittata. So, I chopped everything and threw the skillet on the stove with a good dose of olive oil.DIGITAL CAMERAI started with the onion since it needs a little more love.DIGITAL CAMERAThen I added the sausage, garlic, roasted pepper, and eventually, the spinach. Since a little olive oil is a good thing, I opted to add a bit of chicken broth to keep things moving and the fat content in check.DIGITAL CAMERAWhile all this deliciousness was going on, I cracked some eggs and beat them with some low-fat half & half and a shredded Italian cheese blend.DIGITAL CAMERAWhen the time was right I added the eggs to the pan and began the shimmy shake and lift process that is the basis for any omelet, Italian or not.DIGITAL CAMERAOnce everything was beginning to set up, I topped it with a bit more of the cheese blend along with some sliced tomatoes.DIGITAL CAMERAIt spent some time in the oven and a brief interlude under the broiler. The result was golden goodness that received a sprinkle of fresh basil before coming to the table.DIGITAL CAMERAI served it with some toasted  Rosemary Soda Bread that I made earlier in the week. A quick drizzle of olive oil and it was ready to eat.DIGITAL CAMERA

I chose a Barbera wine from Cooper’s Hawk that complimented the dinner beautifully. It had just the right body and flavor to bring out the best in the food.DIGITAL CAMERA

So here’s how Mama D does Frittata. It more or less follows the traditional process. I opted to let it bake in the oven before turning on the broiler. You know the drill by now…use this as a starting point and make it your own with the ingredients you love.

Frittata with Spinach and Chicken Sausage
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Servings
2
Servings
2
Frittata with Spinach and Chicken Sausage
Print Recipe
Servings
2
Servings
2
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a small oven proof skillet. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally 5 minutes or until the onion begins to soften.
  2. Slice the sausage links in half lengthwise then slice into thin half moons. Add these to the onions in the pan and cook for another minute or two.
  3. Add the garlic and roasted red peppers and cook for several minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  4. If things seem dry, add the chicken broth and toss to coat. You could add a little more olive oil instead of the broth if you like.
  5. Add the chopped spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted.
  6. While the vegetables cook, crack the eggs into a bowl. Beat well. Add the milk and beat to combine. Add half of the cheese and stir to blend.
  7. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and reduce the heat to medium low. Give it a good shake to begin the setting and minimize the sticking.
  8. Continue to cook the eggs gently lifting and shaking to maintain even cooking.
  9. When the eggs are almost set, sprinkle a little of the remaining cheese on the top. Cover the top with the sliced tomatoes and the rest of the cheese.
  10. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes or so. Turn on the broiler and cook for another 2 minutes until the cheese is lightly browned. Remove the pan from the oven and let it to rest for 5 minutes.
  11. Sprinkle with the basil and drizzle with a little olive oil. Divide between two plates and serve.
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The frittata was wonderful, the bread and wine were a perfect compliment and we really did feel much better after we ate. Healing is another wonderful result of cooking with love.