This is a delicious light lunch dish, quick and easy to make.
So here we are practising Social Isolation in Brisbane. I am used to my own company having moved to cities where I knew no-one but at least there I could get out and chat with the shop keeper. Working from home, my mobile phone can remain silent for days other than my children speaking to me but when you know you are constrained it feels different.
The best way not to feel overwhelmed by the situation is to keep busy so I have decided to look on this time as an opportunity to do all the jobs that I have been too busy to do and complete all the craft projects that sit half-done in the spare room. It is also an opportunity to cook for the three members of this household.
I cleaned out my food storage cupboard, which was incredibly satisfying but made me realise that I don’t need to stockpile food as I already have a lot of pulses and nuts and flours.
After watching me, my father, who lives on his own at 93, decided he needed to do this. I cook for him each evening and we haven’t really gone through his food cupboard since Mum died last year. What a treasure trove of baking goods we found including 3 packets of cocoa and lots of icing sugar. Mum loved cooking cakes for the grandchildren. Dad was a little puzzled as to what he was going to use these for until I explained that they were for decorating cakes.
We also found the stash of pasta that my nephew had left behind when he moved to Amsterdam. My sister cooks a lot of pasta for her husband and sons but I don’t. Since my children moved out of home, Andy and I eat salads and meat. We don’t need bulk as our lives are more sedentary and we are vain enough to want to fit in the same sized jeans we wore when we were forty.
So now I am pulling out my pasta recipes and here is the first recipe. Andy calls it Wheelie Bin Frittata as it has everything and anything in i but I refuse to label it that, so Pasta Frittata it is.
It is a fabulous way to clean out the leftovers that are hiding in the fridge – those scraps of cheese that no-one wants to eat, a few pieces of roasted potato and pumpkin, last night’s tomato and capsicum salad, even the last of the ham bone. The trick is to chop the ingredients fairly small because if the chunks are large, when the cooked frittata is cut it tends to fall apart more easily.
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter or oil
150 – 250 g meat – (1 cup) cooked chicken, prosciutto, chorizo, chopped ham or bacon
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped finely
¼ capsicum, chopped finely
4 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons freshly chopped herbs – oregano, parsley, or basil
1 cup coarsely grated cheese – any sort or a mixture of cheeses such as Parmesan, Pecorino, or Romano.
250g (1 cup) cooked pasta, chopped
Additional flavouring suggestions:
Cumin adds a beautiful aroma and a subtle flavour to eggs and potatoes,
Add left over vegetables such as roasted, carrots, potatoes and zucchini, asparagus etc.
Sauté the onion over a gentle heat until lightly coloured. Remove from the heat and put into a large bowl. Add the meat, the cheese, the herbs and other ingredients such as oven-roasted tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms or capsicum, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the pasta and combine well. Lightly beat the eggs together then add to the mixture. Stir well to combine.
Heavily butter a sauté pan and warm over a gentle heat. Pour mixture into pan and spread evenly. Place over moderate heat and cook for about 3 minutes. If your heat is uneven rotate the pan so that ¼ of the frittata is sitting over the heat and cook for 2-3 minutes per rotation, continue to rotate the pan until all quarters are cooked.
Remove from the heat, and slide the frittata onto a dish then invert back onto the pan. Cook this side as you did with the previous side or if it is in an oven proof pan, place under a hot grill and cook the frittata for about 10 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before tipping it out onto a serving dish.
It is delicious either cool or room temperature with a salad for lunch. Serves about 6 depending upon size. I can’t give you a photo of the whole frittata as it was eaten by the hords before I could get my camera ready.