Chef Cosmo’s Zucchini and Red Onion Frittata alla Pisa
Many years ago my Mom and I were passing through Pisa, Italy on connecting flights with the onset of jet lag and a hunger for our first Italian meal after setting foot on terra firma. We could smell the wafting perfume of Italian cooking from the tarmac. Of course, we immediately headed for the tiny airport’s bar for an espresso and a quick bite.
In the "fast food" case was a beautifully huge pan of zucchini frittata, thick and aromatic dripping with olive oil. Unable to form a complete sentence in English let alone Italian, we pointed to the frittata and watched as the older woman, some lucky family’s matriarch, sliced a big square piece out of the pan and presented it to us with a warm smile.
We have been trying to recreate that eggilicious zucchini delight ever since, however, as we all know, it is as much about the experience as it is the actual food.
There are many forms to a frittata… some look like omelettes, some like quiche, with as many different ingredient options, but the flavors are unique to the magic of frittata! This is a perfect dish to serve your Virgo friends paired with a chilled crisp Sauvignon Blanc… for lunch or dinner outside on a patio with a view!
3 medium zucchini sliced, about 1/4 thickness
1 medium red onion, cut in half and sliced
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
8 eggs, fresh brown cage-free if possible
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
Freshly ground Sea Salt and black pepper
Preheat oven 350 degrees(F). Lightly oil 10” cake/quiche/pie type pan, preferably ceramic.
Heat a large skillet with the olive oil and sauté the zucchini for about 10 minutes until tender, but firm, stirring so they do not burn. Set aside in a bowl to cool. (You want the zucchini to be room temperature or slightly warm before you add to the eggs). Lightly whisk the eggs in a bowl and fold in the cheese, bread crumbs, parsley and finally the cooled zucchini. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Pour mixture into the lightly oiled pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until the frittata rises and forms a golden crust. Check center with clean knife to make sure eggs are done, but don't over cook. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve with salad or veggies and maybe a little piece of bread!
Tips: Zucchini can be prepared ahead of time and this dish is great cold the next day too!
Complementary Wines: Pinot Grigio
, Rosé: Champagne
, Sauvignon Blanc
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Stars in Your Stomach, Chef Cosmo's Planetary Cucina.