Friday, December 26, 2008


A frittata is an Italian egg dish that is often described as an omelette. Frittate (uno frittata, due frittate) are actually more like egg tortes or or cakes than omelettes. In Italy, they would flip the frittata in the pan to cook both sides. It seems much simpler to finish the frittata in the oven, rather than trying to flip it. You can put anything you like in the frittata for fillings. Here is what we do at the restaurant for a small frittata.

One Block West Frittata

1 tablespoon oil
3 large eggs, well beaten
fresh basil, chiffonaded, to taste
garlic, to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 small tomato, chopped (fresh or canned)
1 small redskin potato, boiled and sliced
1 tablespoon diced pancetta or diced ham
a few spinach leaves, blanched or wilted
1 tablespoon feta cheese, crumbled
grated Pecorino or Parmigiano cheese

Preheat the oven to hot, 400-450. Preheat a small ovenproof skillet (8”) over medium flame. Meanwhile, beat the eggs really well with basil, garlic, salt and pepper. If you take your time and beat the eggs well, incorporating some air, you will end up with a fluffier frittata [which is why my frittate always look better than the ones my line cooks make—they always want to rush things]. Add the oil to the pan, then the beaten eggs. Let the eggs set on the bottom of the pan for a moment, then add the tomato, potato, pancetta, spinach, and feta.

Let the eggs set around the edges, until the frittata is about half cooked. Sprinkle the top with grated cheese and place it into the hot oven. Cook until the center is set and the frittata is risen. Remove to a plate, slice into wedges, and serve immediately.

An 8” 3-egg frittata and a salad feeds two people, or one very hungry one. A 10” frittata (increase the eggs to 8) should feed four people, with a salad. Cooking time on an 8-egg frittata will almost double from 7-8 minutes to about 15-20 minutes.

Variations. We serve a different frittata special everyday here at the restaurant. Here are some ideas:

Pancetta, Rapini, and Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
Pancetta, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Spinach
Caramelized Onion, Asparagus, and Artichoke Hearts
Pancetta, Red Onion, Artichoke Heart, Feta, and Basil
Chorizo, Onion, Manchego, Thyme, and Potato
Bread Cubes, Fresh Tomato, and Basil
Pasta, Spinach, Pine Nuts, Dill, Garlic, and Lemon Zest
Crab, Herbed Cream Cheese, and Chives
Fennel, Artichoke, and Goat Cheese
Tomato, Basil, and Fresh Mozzarella
Tomato, Spinach, Dill, Pepperoncini, Olives, and Feta
Balsamic-Glazed Red Onion, Roasted Red Pepper, and Serrano Ham
Grilled Chicken, Croutons, Asparagus, and Muenster Cheese
Chipotle Cream Cheese and Kielbasa
Wild Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, and Brie
Fennel, Tomatoes, and Olives

As you can see, the possibilities are endless.

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