Ok, leftover lovers, here’s a delicious and simple dish to incorporate some of the random items hanging around in your fridge — the frittata! I was more than pleasantly surprised to find this one, made by my husband, in my kitchen for lunch today. On a lazy morning, following several days of holiday partying, this was a perfect get-back-to-basics kind of meal, and it used up some plain leftover pasta, as well!
1/4 c. onion, finely chopped
1/4 c. yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
8-10 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed and finely chopped
1/3 c. heavy cream or half and half (optional, but a really good idea)
1 c. shredded cheese (any cheese is fine – this one incorporated cheddar, mozzarella, and monterey jack, but Gruyère would be awesome)
2 1/2 cups of leftover pasta (preferably a long, thin pasta like linguine or spaghetti)
cubed ham or turkey, cooked (great use for leftover meat!)
In a frying pan on medium/high heat, saute the onions, pepper, and mushrooms in some olive oil and butter. Add the mushrooms first since they take the longest. Once the mushrooms have given up most of their moisture, add the onion, pepper and garlic. Saute the onions and peppers until they are tender, but still have some bite, about three minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat a separate non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Lightly whisk the eggs and cream together in a bowl. Add the pasta, salt and pepper to the egg and mix. Melt one tablespoon each of butter and olive oil in the non-stick pan and swirl it to evenly coat the pan. Once the butter stops foaming and just begins to turn brown (you’ll start to smell a nutty aroma), pour the egg mixture into the pan. Distribute the pasta evenly. Add the sauteed veggies and cubed meat and swirl slightly so that they are evenly distributed. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven on a high broil setting, with the rack placed just below the center of the oven. Refrain from moving the egg mixture around in the pan so a good crust forms on the bottom. After about three minutes, add the cheese to the top and place the pan under the broiler. Make sure that your pan is oven safe before doing this! Remove from the oven once the top is golden brown and the eggs have puffed up a bit like a souffle (about three minutes). The result looks a bit like an egg pizza! You may need to gently shake the pan and use a spatula to free the frittata from the pan. Carefully slide the frittata onto a cutting board or serving dish. Cut into slices and serve! And don’t worry if the first one doesn’t come out perfectly, frittatas take a little practice. Just tell everyone that you made some gourmet scrambled eggs. They’ll never know the difference.
Other filling suggestions: anything! Just make sure that whatever you add is as dry as possible, otherwise you’ll have a watery frittata. This especially goes for spinach, which should be wilted and squeezed first.