Thursday, February 7, 2013


When I lived in Italy I learned to make this Italian version of an omelet. Its texture and more substantial ingredients make it more of a meal than the light and fluffy French dish. The idea is to use whatever you find in the fridge in any combination that appeals to you. It usually contains a vegetable or two (asparagus, zucchini, tomato, mushrooms, spinach, etc), an onion (yellow onion, shallots, scallions, leeks or chives) and a cheese (gruyere, cheddar, parmesan, ricotta, Swiss, cream cheese, etc) and perhaps a type of ham (prosciutto, bacon bits, or boiled ham in strips or small chunks) and / or sliced cooked potatoes. The proportions are not important; the ingredients must be precooked and slightly warm when used. It can be served hot or room temperature. This versatile dish can be baked in the oven in a pie plate or cooked on the stove in a non-stick frying pan and finished in the oven or under the broiler. It can be served in the pan (the easy way) or turned onto a dish (which is nicer looking but more difficult to do.) It can be made for 2-3 people with 4 eggs in an 8” pan, for four people with 5 eggs in a 10” or six people 6 eggs in a 12” pan.  The other evening I made the following for Gerard and me and served it with a green salad. It hit the spot.


4 large eggs, beaten
6 boiled potatoes (small Yukon golds) peeled and sliced
1-ounce of Gruyere Cheese grated
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch salt
1 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon olive oil (not extra virgin)
1/2 cup chopped roasted leeks
1/2 cup chopped prosciutto ham
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves


Preheat oven to broil setting. Beat the eggs add a tablespoon of cold water and season with salt and pepper. Heat the non-stick pan over medium high heat.  Add butter and oil to pan and melt. Add potatoes to pan, when warm and slightly golden add the leeks and 2 minutes later add the ham strips. Stir so ingredients are evenly spread out. Pour egg mixture into pan. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes slightly raising the sides and tipping the pan to allow egg to run to the bottom and cook. While cooking sprinkle the grated cheese onto the mixture. When the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top. Place pan into oven and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy. Protecting your hands with pot holders, place a serving plate that is (at least as big or slightly larger than the pan) over the pan and turn the pan upside down allowing the fritatta to end up on the plate.  Cut into pie shaped portions and serve immediately.

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