Frittata with a Twist

Pasta Frittata in Pan

Every week I promise myself to try something new for dinner, but a lot of the time that never happens. I usually eat by myself during the week and I’m sure that everyone can concur with me that cooking for one is never as fun as cooking for two.

Well, last week I finally made a dinner that has been on my “To Make” list for quite some time. It’s going to sound weird at first but just bear with me; I think you’ll like it. Essentially it is as simple as adding cooked pasta to a frittata. Odd? Yes! But I’m actually not the first one to try it.

In fact, I’ve seen recipes on the Food Network and Food & Wine. Each recipe that I found differed from the next—one called for broiling the frittata, the other called for baking it, a few called for heavy cream, some were vegetarian, others were meat heavy… you catch my drift. I concluded that the only mandatory ingredients for a pasta frittata are eggs and pasta, everything else is customizable.

When I got home from work one night last week I walked over to our refrigerator and perused my lot. I had eggs (essential), leftover cooked bucatini pasta (double check), zucchini (I really should add something healthy and green), cabbage (umm, definitely not), Parmigiano Reggiano (everything is better with Parmigiano), parsley (a nice finishing touch), whole milk (healthier than heavy cream, I’ll take it), and half of a decrepit looking red onion.

I gathered my ingredients and started chopping away. I sauteed the zucchini quickly over high heat in a sauté pan, sweat the onions, and combined all of the ingredients including the eggs, pasta, cheese and milk in a large mixing bowl. I poured the egg mixture into a non-stick pan set over low heat and then finished the frittata in the oven for 25 minutes.

At the 25 minute mark my frittata was piping hot and perfectly browned. I flipped it out of the pan after letting it cool briefly, cut myself a huge wedge, made a simple salad on the side, and settled in front of the TV to watch House Hunters. It may not be as fun as dinner for two, but it was a perfect dinner for one with the added benefit of having leftovers to pack for lunch for the rest of the week. I’ll be making it again!

Happy Cooking,

Pippa

Pasta Frittata with Zucchini

Serves 3-4 entrée size portions

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: approx. 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 medium zucchini (430g), ends trimmed and cut into thin coins (1/4 cm thick)
  • ½ medium red onion (100g), finely chopped
  • 7 eggs
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 10 turns of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, finely minced
  • 2.5 cups cooked plain pasta (spaghetti, bucatini, linguine, or fettuccine would all work well here)

Method

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2. Place a tablespoon of olive oil in a large non-stick or heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat.
    3. When the pan is hot, add the zucchini, coat the zucchini in the oil and then allow the zucchini coins to cook in a single layer if possible over medium heat until browned on one side. Stir occasionally until the zucchini is cooked and golden brown on both sides, approx. 10-15 minutes.
    4. Remove the pan from the heat and place the zucchini in a small bowl and set aside.
    5. Place the sauté pan back on the stove over very low heat and add a tablespoon of butter.
    6. Add the chopped onion to the pan and sweat over low heat for 5-10 minutes, or until the onion is soft and beginning to turn translucent.
    7. Remove the pan from the heat and place the onion in the same bowl as the zucchini and set aside.
    8. In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, parsley, Parmigiano, salt and pepper and whisk well until thoroughly combined.
    9. Add the zucchini, onion, and cooked pasta and lightly mix until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
    10. Pour the egg and pasta mixture back into the sauté pan. Please the sauté pan over medium heat and allow the eggs to set briefly over the heat for 2-3 minutes, without stirring.
    11. Place the pan in the oven on the middle rack and cook for 25 minutes, or until the eggs have set completely and the center is firm (you should not see any liquid in the center of the frittata).
    12. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the frittata to cool briefly in the pan for 5 minutes.
    13. Run a knife around the edge of the frittata and carefully invert the frittata onto a cutting board or a large round plate.
    14. Cut in wedges and serve either hot or at room temperature. Garnish with additional Parmigiano Reggiano cheese if desired (I enjoyed my frittata with some homemade tomato sauce on the side).
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