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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Here's how Italians have breakfast.

Chances are that if you're Italian, you've had a frittata before and know not only what it is, but why people make them.  To those who don't, it's simple - it's all.about.the.leftovers.  Period.

Last night I made my pasta with chicken sausage and artichokes and specifically prepared extra so I was all set for breakfast today with my sister-in-law and her boyfriend.  This might be considered "cheating" but hey, leftovers are leftovers :)  Frittate are perfect for what's left in your fridge - whatever it is, any combo you like - or, even with nothing but cheese, or pasta, or a veggie...bottom line, there are no rules.

Normally, I make it in my cast-iron pan (since you start your frittata on the stove and transfer it right to the oven) but since I wanted to make sure there was plenty, I used a deep pie dish.  If you do this, cook your leftovers in a skillet, transfer them to your oven dish, then add the cheese and eggs.  Otherwise, do it all in your cast-iron pan (or whatever you're using) and place it right in the oven after you add the eggs.

The ingredients I used today are below, but again, use whatever you like, or more traditionally, whatever you HAVE that you want to "get rid of".  Italians don't buy ingredients strictly for the purpose of using them in frittate (besides eggs)...it's all about what's left over.  If there is a starch - pasta in this case, sometimes potato, or whatever else - I like to push it to the bottom to act as sort of a crust.

I served this with fruit salad.  Oh, and it's best eaten at room temperature...not right out of the oven.  Mangia!

9 eggs
splash of heavy cream
extra virgin olive oil
cooking spray
fresh mozzarella, sliced
chicken sausage, artichoke hearts, spaghetti (last night's leftovers from this recipe)
grated cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a skillet, heat oil and reheat leftover ingredients.  Season as you like.  Meanwhile, beat the eggs and cream together, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer leftovers to a 10" deep pie dish (prepared with cooking spray), with the pasta on the bottom, followed by the other ingredients.  Add the cheese, then pour the egg mixture over everything.  Sprinkle grated cheese on top and bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size/depth of the frittata (whenever egg is cooked through).

(if using a cast-iron pan or other oven-safe skillet, follow above directions minus transferring to another dish)

Let cool and serve at room temperature.

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