Not too many people hear these words from their child… “Mom, can you please not make any more frittatas?”
Seriously. I guess I got a little carried away for a while when they were young. I was very creative with frittatas, but still, one of my daughters wasn’t fooled. I remember thinking how funny her request was at the same time. I mean, it’s like a kid asking the mom to quit serving liver.
I’d always made good breakfasts for my kiddos when they were young, even though it meant getting up extra early. It was worth it.
At some point back then I was introduced to this cookbook – The Villa Table, by Lorenza de Medici, published in 1993 – and I was smitten.
If you don’t already love the foods of Tuscany, this book will win you over. In this book Ms. Medici has a recipe for a frittata to which she adds leftover spaghetti. Seriously! And I mean, why not?
You can really put just about anything in a frittata, so why not leftovers like a pasta dish! I had so much respect for her for including such a mundane, yet perfectly practical recipe in the book, that I think I went a little crazy then, throwing just about everything left over from the previous night’s dinner into the next morning frittatas for my girls. That is, until I was asked to stop.
So I hadn’t made a frittata in years, thanks to that daughter. Decades, in fact. Frittatas are delicious, and a perfect dish to make for breakfast, lunch, or brunch. Unlike an omelet, you can slice up an frittata and serve 6-8 people. And they’re pretty. Here’s another one I made recently.
There’s nothing mysterious to a frittata. It contains the same ingredients as an omelet, primarily beaten eggs, cheese, and often accessory ingredients as well. These can include something as simple as asparagus and fontina, potatoes and gruyere, or tomatoes and smoked mozzarella, or…
A frittata is essentially an open-faced omelet – made like an omelet, except the last step is to place cheese on top of the frittata and put it in the oven. Some care has to be taken with the frittata, however, because just like with an omelet, it shouldn’t be overcooked.
I’m offering up my version of a simple frittata, based on what I had in the fridge. I chose uncured bacon, red bell pepper, shallot, parsley, and I used some leftover raclette.
Trust me, once you start adding your leftover pastas or stews or vegetables to yours, you’re going to be making them often, just like I used to! Hopefully you won’t burn out your children.
A Simple Frittata
6 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Drizzle of olive oil
2 ounces diced bacon
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 shallot, diced
Chopped parsley, to taste
3-4 ounces cheese, cut in small cubes or coarsely grated
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Place the eggs in a medium bowl and whisk them well with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to a broiler setting, or at least 400° F.
In the skillet in which you will be making your frittata, which much be able to withstand broiler temperatures, heat up a little oil and add the bacon. Cook over low heat.
Add the red bell pepper and shallots and cook until fairly soft, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Stir in the parsley until well distributed, then pour in the whisked eggs. Add the cubes of cheese evenly amongst the omelet.
Cover the skillet with a lid, and over low heat still, begin cooking the omelet through to the middle, but not thoroughly. This should take at least 10 minutes.
At this point, sprinkle on the grated Parmesan, and place the skillet in the oven. The broiler should finish the last little bit of cooking, but also brown the Parmesan. I personally don’t like a lot of browning, so once there’s no liquid remaining in the center, I pull the skillet from the oven and let the frittata cool slightly.
Cut the frittata into four wedges and serve immediately.
I’ve seen in another Lorenza de Medici cookbook that sometimes a wedge of frittata is served between two slices of bread for lunch! Doesn’t that sound like a wonderful idea?!