Monday, July 7, 2014

You Say Pasta, I Say Frittata

One of my passions is food. When I get heavy into writing and editing (where I am now), food is an essential energy source, and an occasional distraction. But, I do enjoy preparing dishes, and sharing them with friends and family. Whether making a recipe written decades ago by my great grandmother, or testing a new one, there is often a bit of excitement that hovers around the kitchen.

Cooking can be intense, or soothing for me—depends a lot on the day, the recipe, and how famished the crew waiting to be fed is. While I’ve tried a number of recipes, I have to say this is the first I can recall ever making a Pasta Frittata. Usually, the pasta in our house is made into a main course one night, and the cold leftovers consumed the next day or so by our hungry kids. Okay, my husband and I sometimes eat them cold, too.

Anyway, when I got this recipe I really wanted to try it out. The frittata looked nice with a golden, crispy crust, and the family loved that it had pasta, so they enjoyed trying the Broccoli Rabe and Parmesan version. I’d make it again, and maybe try the Sausage and Hot Peppers version from Cook’s Illustrated. Either way, it’s a nice change to handfuls of cold spaghetti.

Here’s the sample recipe I tested. To get the final version, you can buy the magazine or check it out online. It’s a fairly straightforward dish, and cooked on the stovetop, so it’s worth a try. Enjoy!

Pasta Frittata with Broccoli Rabe
Serves 6 to 8 
To ensure the proper texture, it’s important to use angel hair pasta with this recipe. We like to serve the frittata warm or at room temperature, with a side salad.
8 large eggs
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 ounces broccoli rabe, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
3 cups plus 1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
6 ounces angel hair, broken in half

1. Whisk eggs, olive oil, Parmesan, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper together in large bowl until egg is even yellow color; set aside.
2. Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add broccoli rabe, 1 tablespoon water, and ¼ teaspoon salt and toss to evenly coat. Cover skillet and cook until broccoli rabe is bright green and crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in vinegar. Transfer broccoli rabe to bowl with egg mixture and wipe out skillet.
3. Bring remaining 3 cups water, pasta, remaining 7 teaspoons vegetable oil, and 3/4 teaspoon salt to boil in now empty skillet over high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender, water has evaporated, and pasta starts to sizzle in oil, 9 to 12 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook pasta, shaking pan occasionally (do not stir), until bottom crisps and turns golden, 5 to 7 minutes. 
4. Using spatula, push some pasta up sides of skillet so that entire pan surface is covered in pasta. Pour egg mixture over pasta. Using tongs, lift up loose strands of pasta to allow egg to flow towards pan, being careful not to pull up crispy bottom crust. Cover skillet and continue to cook over medium heat until bottom crust turns golden brown and top of frittata is just set (egg below very top will still be raw), 6 to 8 minutes. Following the flip instructions, slide frittata onto large plate. Invert frittata onto second large plate and slide it browned-side up back into skillet. Tuck edges of frittata into skillet with rubber spatula. Continue to cook second side of frittata until light brown, 3 to 5 minutes longer. 
5. Remove pan from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Invert frittata onto cutting board, cut into wedges and serve.


1. SLIDE After browning first side, loosen with rubber spatula and slide onto large plate.

2. FLIP Place second plate face-down over frittata; invert browned-site up on second plate.

3. SLIDE Slide frittata back into pan, browned side-up, and tuck edges into pan with rubber spatula.

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