11.28.10: dinner (stracciatella and fritatta, inspired in part by Nigella)

Stracciatella of Tarragon, Semolina Flour and Pecorino Cheese

I have to say that I kind of love the habit of coming home after a weekend trip to Pennsylvania and indulging in a soup and an eggy dish. We did it back in August with gazpacho and our ugly-but-delicious tortilla, and after Thanksgiving we toasted to our uneventful Amtrak ride with lovely stracciatella and a simple fritatta. As we worked together to make the meal, both Michael and I started to channel Nigella Lawson a bit because both of these dishes seemed like ones you might see on one of her many BBC programs: fast, loaded with vegetables but all with a heavy does of indulgence. There may have been some bad British-accented commentary going on as we cooked, but I won’t say for certain. All I will confirm is that dinner came together in very short order that night–and that’s something, I think, we could all use in this otherwise hectic time of year.

 

Fritatta of Leeks, Red Peppper and Pecorino

What’s great about the fritatta for dinner is that you can load it with basically whatever you want to, so it can make clearing out the fridge an easy task or a trip to the grocery store one that won’t take too long.While it’s not the lightest dish you could make for yourself, it is one that can stand on its own as a one-pot meal; I added the soup because I had been dying to make it for a while and the opportunity never presented itself. Like the tortilla the leftovers can be eaten cold or warmed, and goes particularly well between two slices of toasted wheat bread.

In other words: this is a very good alternative when the prospect of making dinner is attempting to stare you down into submitting to calling for takeaway. You can find my stracciatella recipe here, while Michael’s fritatta recipe can be found below.

Michael’s  Kickass Fritatta

  • 6oz pancetta, cubed
  • 4 small/2 large leeks, chopped to the light green parts in thin half-moons
  • 1 red bell pepper, cubed
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 6-8 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano, divided 2/3 for mixing and 1/3 for topping
  • 2 TBSP tarragon leaves, chopped

Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on medium. Turn on the broiler. Add the pancetta and cook on medium low for 8 minutes to render the fat out. Next, add the leeks, increase to medium add some salt and cook for five minutes until soft. If the bottom of the pan gets brown with fond, add some water, vermouth, wine or stock to deglaze and add the red peppers. After five more minutes, add the garlic and mix the eggs, 2/3 of the cheese and half the tarragon in a bowl, beat the eggs and add to the pan. Cook until the bottom of the eggs set, moving a spatula around the outer rim of the pan to keep the fritatta from sticking. Once set on the bottom has set, 5 minutes or so, add the rest of the cheese to the top and place under the broiler until the cheese browns. This could be anywhere from 2-5 minutes. Let cool and serve with the remainder of the tarragon.

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3 comments
  1. I’m a big Nigella fan, too! I think frittatas are genius at dinner; in fact, evening is the only time I can stomach eggs.

  2. angi said:

    Is it lame that I’ve never heard of stracciatella until now? Egg drop soup with cheese? Sign me up!

  3. Kim said:

    And this, my friends, is why I tell my husband it’s a good idea to always have eggs, pancetta and Romano lying around. :-)

    [K]

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