Carbs [thyme pasta frittata]

My weekend (though it was long ago) consisted of burgers, steak, filet and burgers.  In that order.  With sausage thrown in the middle too.  Ugh!  Jillian Michaels and I have been quite close this week.

On Wednesday, meat-fest behind me, I declared myself a vegetarian–at least through Saturday.  All I’ve been eating is pastas and salads and fresh summer fruits.  It has been wonderful (and I have a couple of servings of leftover pulled pork defrosting in the fridge for the resident meat-eater).

This frittata comes from the website Sunday Suppers, which is absolutely amazing and if you could live in a website, I think I would want to live in this one.  It’s full of good food, friends, and nicely decorated apartments in New York.  Click around.

It’s a close cousin of Giada’s thyme pasta frittata except for the addition of ricotta cheese (and a swap of basil for thyme but I’m not counting that because anyone could have figured that out).  As someone who recently made (and was disappointed by) Giada’s thyme pasta frittata, let me tell you that the smooth, creamy ricotta makes all the difference in the world.  Instead of a bland dish with nothing going for it, it becomes a rich meal when paired with a simple salad.

And if you already have leftover pasta (doesn’t have to be penne), this comes together in about 20 minutes.  Eight minutes to put it together (and that’s only if you’re a slow chopper) and twelve in the oven.  You will need:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 C whole milk (sure you could use something more rich, but I wouldn’t go any less-fattening than whole milk here)
  • 1/2 C ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 C (or more if you’re like me) Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 C basil, julienned
  • 3 C leftover cooked pasta (from 7 oz. dry)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, cheeses and basil until mixed.  Add the pasta, salt and pepper and toss to combine.

In a 10-inch, oven-proof skillet (preferably cast-iron), heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.  I like to completely coat the bottom of the pan if I am using a stainless steel skillet, but don’t need as much in my cast-iron.  All will be wasted if the pasta sticks to the bottom.

Once the oil is hot, pour in the pasta and egg mixture.  Cook over a medium flame until the edges begin to set (about 2-3 minutes).  Place in the hot oven and cook until the frittata is completely set, about 12 minutes.

You can choose to invert the frittata onto a serving plate or go for a more rustic approach and serve it straight from the skillet (also a good choice for those who are way too wimpy to be flipping hot cast-iron pans upside down).  Top with more grated Parmesan and a little sprinkle of salt.

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