Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pasta Frittata

Yesterday I discovered chives in my tentative Laurentian garden. And lurking in my fridge are left over pasta and broccoli. It's frittata time! Most people know what a frittata is (if not scroll down to end of post for a definition), but did you know that a frittata made with left over pasta, as opposed to say potatoes, is delicious and a great way to use leftovers?

Pasta frittata Ingedients:
  1. 12 eggs
  2. 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
  3. 2 tablespoons chives, finely sliced
  4. 1/4 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese or Parmesan cheese
  5. freshly grated pepper and salt to taste
  6. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  7. 1/2 red pepper, large dice
  8. up to 2 cups of leftover cooked broccoli (in small florets) or other vegetable that is not too wet
  9. 3 cups of left over cooked pasta of any kind
  10. 1/2 cup grated cheddar
Method: Pre-heat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl beat until well blended the eggs, milk, chives, pecorino and season to taste. Heat oil on medium high in a large cast iron pan or other large non stick pan and saute red pepper until soft (2 minutes). Pour egg mixture into hot pan over red peppers. Turn heat down to medium low. Equally distribute the vegetables and pasta throughout the egg mixture (does not require perfection). When the edges of the frittata are starting to firm (about 8 minutes) remove pan from stove top and sprinkle with cheddar. Place pan in middle rack of oven. When frittata is no longer runny in center (about 25-30 minutes), turn oven to broil and lightly brown frittata. Watch frittata carefully as the browning could take 1 minute or 5! Remove pan from oven and let cool slightly. Cut frittata into points and serve. Or let cool completely and cut into points. Ideal cold for picnics or a quick lunch and great as a hot meal with a side of salad. This recipe gives you the basics but you can make many improvisations by using different vegetables, adjusting the quantity of eggs used and/or the quantity of pasta. Enjoy!

Note: I also came across another use for leftover pasta that I was not aware of: pan-fried pasta. According to several sites I have perused this dish seems to be a very tasty Italian comfort food. A half Italian friend of mine confirmed the dish as authentically Italian and loves and makes it often. I am intrigued and am going to write a simple recipe once I have tested it.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

A frittata is a type of Italian omelette that frequently features fillings such as meats, cheeses, and vegetables. Like a traditional French omelet, a frittata is prepared in a skillet. However, whereas an omelet is cooked on a stovetop and served folded, a frittata is first partially cooked on a stovetop but then broiled (grilled) to finish, and served open-faced.

In Neapolitan cuisine and other similar cuisines in southern Italy, the frittata often contains spaghetti, macaroni, or another kind of pasta. Usually this pasta is left over from a previous meal and has sauce (e.g. tomato sauce) on it. A traditional peasant frittata might contain onions and Parmesan cheese--a simple meal for a farmer or laborer.

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