Frittata is one of those dishes that you can whip up in minutes and does not require any advance planning. It is the ideal dish, not only for a breakfast or weekend brunches, but also for something to put on the table in just 20 minutes, making it perfect for those evenings when you had not planned anything for dinner.
This frittata with potatoes and pancetta is only one of the endless possibilities that you can make from different ingredients that you might already have on hand. You can also use bacon, ham, or sausage to substitute for the protein, and blend that with whichever vegetables you have in your refrigerator or pantry. I often think of a frittata as a big, crustless quiche, so I typically add anything that would go well in a quiche; for example, mushrooms, leeks, spinach, asparagus (when in season), or, any leftover, cooked vegetables blended with chopped, fresh herbs. Depending on the number of people you will serve, you can increase the number of eggs and adjust the cooking time accordingly for a larger frittata.
The base of this dish is a custard made of eggs and cream with the addition of some cheese of your choice. This cooks slowly at the beginning in the skillet and is then transferred to the oven until it just sets. If you prefer the top a bit darker, place the frittata a little closer to the broiler the last minute or so. The frittata will puff beautifully when it comes out of the oven, but be careful not to overcook it or it can become rubbery. The frittata is just as good at room temperature as it is delicious served alongside a green salad with a balsamic vinaigrette. It also makes a wonderful appetizer (cubed and served with toothpicks) for your next cocktail party!
- 4 oz. pancetta, diced
- 3 TBSP. olive oil
- 1 med. onion, chopped
- 2 med. Yukon Gold potatoes, cut in ¼” pieces
- 1 tsp. salt
- --- --- freshly ground pepper
- 6 large eggs
- 3 TBSP. full fat milk, light cream or half and half
- ¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
- 3 sm. scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
- --- ---- fresh chives, minced
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Heat a 9-inch, ovenproof, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until it is lightly browned. Remove the pancetta from the pan and place on paper towels.
- Drain all but 1 TBSP. of the fat from the pan, add the olive oil, and, when it is hot, add the onions. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are tender. Add the potatoes and stir well to coat with the oil. Season the mixture with half of the salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover with and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, but still hold their shape (the cooking time depends on the size of the potato pieces.). Uncover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onions and the potatoes are golden brown.
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk (or cream), the cheese, the rest of the salt, and several grinds of pepper. Stir in the scallions and the cooked pancetta.
- Pour the eggs over the potato mixture in the skillet. Cook over medium heat for about 3 to 4 minutes, shaking the skillet occasionally and lifting the edges, so the uncooked egg runs underneath. Remove from the heat and transfer the skillet to the oven.
- Bake for about 6 to 8 minutes or until frittata is puffed and golden. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the chives and let it sit for 2 minutes. Run a rubber spatula around the sides of the pan to loosen the frittata. Slip it out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.
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