Italians love their frittata, (free-TAH-ta ), a similar dish to the well known French omelette.
Eggs are the main ingredient, to which vegetables, cheese, ham or even left over pasta is added according to what is available and what takes your fancy. While an omelette should be served hot, the frittata is great served at room temperature, or even cold. It is an ideal filling for a ciabatta loaf.
The difference between a Frittata and an omelette is in the cooking method: in an omelette the ingredients are gently placed into the beaten eggs as they are cooking in a fairly hot pan; in a frittata, the eggs and ingredients are mixed together, and then cooked more slowly on medium heat.
This is a recipe that we never seem to tire of, and we thought that a Frittata made with seasonal courgettes, with herbs and parmesan would be an ideal choice to offer at our tastings. It can be made in advance, cut in bite size pieces and it tastes wonderful cold! Also, the combination of delicate flavours can match a variety of wines, for example a fresh and delicate Soave or the crisp Rioja Blanco. One that suits the courgette’s flavours admirably seems to be the Malvasia, a light and aromatic white wine from Lazio, home of amazing frittata!
2 or 3 medium size Courgettes, sliced fairly thinly
5 eggs, beaten
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic, chopped finely
3 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
A handful of finely chopped garden herbs, such as mint or basil (we like to use a few leaves of Mentuccia a type of mint that grows freely in the Italian countryside!)
Olive oil for frying
Salt and Pepper
Gently fry the onion and garlic in a couple of spoonfuls of olive oil, until soft, and then add the sliced courgettes and sauté on medium heat.
The courgettes should be nicely cooked, not browned and when ready allow them to cool down. Add the grated cheese, seasoning, chopped herbs to the beaten eggs, then add the cooked vegetable mix.
- Heat up the pan, ideally non stick, with a little more olive oil and pour the egg mixture into it, lowering the heat to avoid burning the bottom of the frittata.
- With the help of a spatula and a wooden fork, allow the upper, liquid part of the mixture to slip down below the solidified part, so that all parts of the frittata are cooked.
- When the top seems quite firm the frittata is ready to be turned over. What follows may look a little difficult, but it only takes a little practice, and it is fun!
- So, remove the pan from the heat and place a flat plate over the frittata with one hand firmly on top of the plate and the other hand holding the pan handle and quickly turn the whole thing upside down.
- Immediately slide the frittata off the plate (the golden-brown side will now appear on top) back into the pan to finish cooking for the last few minutes. It may sound complicated but it is less risky than flipping it!
The more you practice the better your frittata will be, and you will be able to find the correct proportions of ingredients to make the perfect frittata, not too dry, not too runny, and tasting just how you like it.
For the above quantities, you could simplify the process by using a smaller non stick pan (20cm) and dividing the egg mix into 3 or 4 portions, finishing off with more manageble size of frittatas to turn over 🙂
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