I used to have a cat named Bronson. He was beautiful and mean. His favorite activities were climbing denim-clad legs or curtains. Why am I thinking about him? Well, because frittata isn’t hard to make but the only trick is you must use a properly greased pan or much like a cat to a curtain it will cling so tightly you’ll never separate the two. But, other than that, this is a super easy recipe. Frittata (loosely meaning fried in Italian) is best described as an open-faced omelette or crustless quiche. With some flicks of the wrist I can take my taste buds and table to Italy. This is my quick go-to meal any time of day and I use whatever I’ve got leftover in the fridge. Frittata can be served hot or at room temperature so it’s perfect when I’m hosting folks and it’s lovely so it feels special. To make this dish you need a pan that can go from stove top to oven. I use a 12 inch pan which yields a thinner frittata. Use whatever size you’ve got. Other than that, it’s nothing fancy. As with all of my recipes it’s adaptable to your own tastes. I’ve made a sun dried tomato and prosciutto frittata that was divine. If you can dream it up, try it. Mangia!
4 large eggs
2/3 c. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
4 sprigs of thyme or 1/4 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. paprika
1 Tbs. finely chopped onion
12 asparagus spears or vegetable of your choice, 8 cut into 1 inch pieces and the rest reserved for the top
vegetable of your choice *if using a leafy green, 1/2 c. loosely packed, roll the leaves like a cigar and julienne. If using larger veg such as asparagus, I use about 2 spears per egg.
1/2 c. meat of your choice, diced *If using good deli counter bacon, I’ve found 2 strips fried and crumbled is sufficient.
1. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. Remove the sausage from the casing and fry over medium heat in the pan in which you’ll cook the frittata. Once the sausage begins to brown, add the onion and sliced asparagus. Continue cooking until the sausage and asparagus are cooked. It doesn’t matter how you cut the filling ingredients, you just want them all of the same size.
3. While the filling cooks, add the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, thyme leaves and paprika to a bowl. Whisk the mixture vigorously. You really want to whip a lot of air into these eggs. Whisk until small bubbles uniformly form around the edges of the mixture, about 45 seconds. Give your wrist a break for a second and then whip for 30 seconds more. Don’t skip this step. If you do you will end up with a crepe in terms of thickness.
5. Your pan needs to be sufficiently greased. If there’s not a sheen across the bottom, add a bit of oil or butter to grease the bottom.
6. Pour the eggs into the pan. Give the mixture a quick 5 second stir to incorporate all the ingredients and then leave it alone.
7. Allow the frittata to cook undisturbed on the stove at medium heat for 5-7 minutes. The eggs should still be slightly runny and wet looking on top. The time may vary but what you’re looking for is browning around the edges and the mixture should be firming up.
8. Pop into the oven for 5 minutes. The frittata should puff nicely and get a bit brown. It should be firm and appear cooked on top. If it’s still a bit wet continue cooking 1 minute more.
9. Remove the frittata from the oven and carefully run a knife along the edge of the pan. This is when you’ll find out if your pan was sufficiently greased. Invert it onto a plate and then onto the serving platter. It should now have its best face forward.
Okay, here’s the rub. The frittata is going to deflate pretty quickly. I was pretty disappointed the first time I made this and then watched it get flatter and flatter but it is in fact an open faced omelette so it is as it should be – flat and tasty. If you can’t get it out of the pan, just serve it straight from the pan. No one will be the wiser. You just won’t get to show off the perfect brown edges.