October 19, 2010

Far from Fancy

I've been in a comfort food mood lately.  Cozy food, the kind you enjoy while curled up in blankets with a good book or lingering over the table with music in the background.  Nothing flashy, nothing fancy, but the kind of food that makes sigh contentedly as you eat it.  Something to unwind you from a crazy day and to be reminded that simple is sometimes better.

To me, frittatas fit that bill.  Fill them with the scraps you have lingering in your fridge, the bits you have in just small amounts laying around; add some leftover pasta for bulk and eggs for protein and dinner (or breakfast or brunch if you're so inclined) is served.  This frittata is a nod to a simple, no-sauce Martha Stewart pasta recipe, filled with zucchini, onion, briny black olives and some Italian herbs.  The veggies cook down to sweet wilted versions of their former crisp selves while the olives add pops of salt all over and the eggs and milk form a creamy custard held together with the pasta.  The greatest thing about frittatas is that they're a blank canvas.  Not into the pasta?  Add some cooked and sliced potato instead.  Whatever veggies and herbs float your boat.  Use some sausage or chorizo.  It just a matter of picking then chopping and stirring and the whole thing comes together in under 30 minutes.

Go ahead.  Get inspired and make one - this one - tonight!

Spaghetti Frittata

4 servings

1/4 pound dried spaghetti noodles, cooked and cooled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
6 eggs
splash of milk or cream
1/3 cup grated parmesan or crumbled feta (optional)
handful pitted kalamata olives

Preheat broiler.

In a small to medium sized oven proof skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add onions, zucchini and garlic and saute until just turning soft and bits are browning on the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile beat together the 6 eggs with a splash of milk, add cheese if using and beat once more.  When the onions and zucchini are soft, season with oregano and a pinch of red pepper flakes, salt and pepper then toss in olives and noodles.  Stir until combined.

Pour the eggs over the mixture making sure that the pasta is mostly covered.  Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, pulling the mixture away from the sides and tilting the pan slightly to let the uncooked egg to the outside edges.  When the eggs look like they're set, slide the pan directly under the broiler for 2 minutes to brown and crisp up the top.  Slice and serve.

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