“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked”
I love eggs in all their forms. Omelettes, frittatas, over easy, sunny side up, poached, baked, over vegetables, under sauces, you name it. I love ’em. I have even poached them in red wine before, but that is the subject of another post.
Frittatas, or rather frittate, are not like omelettes and the rules on how to make them are quite different. Whether you like your frittata with a brown crust or not is a matter of preference. Personally, I like mine very soft and slightly moist inside without being mushy or wet. A French omelette should be cooked very quickly over very high heat and filled with various ingredients. Never would a French person mix his fillings with the eggs except maybe for herbs. A frittata needs to be cooked very gently, over very low heat, and you need to be delicate with it. Do not rush it and you will be rewarded.
I use Marcella Hazan’s rules to making great frittate and I have added a few of my own:
- always use a non-stick pan to cook the frittata.
- always cook your frittata over very low heat and leave it undisturbed: do not bring the sides toward the middle. Don’t touch it.
- cook your fillings over medium heat, then reduce the heat to very low and wait a few minutes before adding the eggs to the pan.
- when using cheese in the frittata, do not grate it too finely otherwise the taste will be lost.
- finish cooking your frittata under the broiler for just a short amount of time. Do not let it brown or puff.
- don’t overcook your frittata or it will be stiff and dry.
- frittata possibilities are almost endless: use your imagination and share your ideas with me!
Ingredients for one frittata:
1 big handful of leftover cooked spaghetti
2 spring onions, chopped
1 or 2 tbsp Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (see note above)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the broiler and put the grill about 6 inches from the heat source.
1. In a non-stick pan with a heat-resistant handle, reheat the spaghetti over medium heat in the olive oil with the spring onions, one or two minutes.
2. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting possible and continue to cook while you get the eggs ready.
3. Crack the eggs in a bowl and beat them with a fork with a bit of salt, pepper and the pecorino. Do not use a whisk as it would add too much air in the mixture.
4. Add the eggs to the pan and distribute evenly over the spaghetti. From this point on, do not touch it. Do not mix or stir, leave it. Once in a while, just shake the pan a bit by the handle and see if your frittata is set. You will know it is ready when the contour is paler than the rest and only the middle is slightly wobbly. This will only take a few minutes. The exact time depends on many things.
5. Transfer to the oven and cook under the broiler for no longer than 30 seconds. Do not let it brown or puff.
6. Take out of the oven and transfer to a plate. Eat warm or at room temperature, but not hot. I served mine with an arugula salad and prosciutto cotto.