So, you’d like to know how to make a frittata? Provided you stick to a few simple principles, it’s probably not as complicated as you’ve been led to believe. Firstly, your most obvious ingredient, the eggs. Most frittata recipes call for around six eggs, which sounds like a lot until you remember that unlike an omelette, a frittata is made for sharing. If you’re dining alone, no problem – you can keep the rest of your frittata in the fridge until tomorrow, and even take it into work for lunch.
Back to those eggs. Although results are perfectly acceptable with eggs taken straight from the fridge, eggs that have been allowed to come to room temperature are said to make a better frittata. If you accidentally break small pieces of shell into the eggs when you crack them into a bowl, it’s a much simpler matter to scoop them out with an eggshell half than it is to remove them with your fingers. Beat the eggs with as much energy as you can put into the task, incorporating plenty of air for a more fluffier frittata. Some frittata recipes call for a little milk or cream too, to make a richer dish.
Set the beaten egg to one side for a moment while you cook the rest of your ingredients.
A frittata is often a visual experience as much as it’s a culinary one, but it’s not just for aesthetic reasons that the pieces you add to your frittata should all be roughly cut to the same size. It helps to ensure even cooking too. Chunks of around 1cm or half an inch is ideal.
Unless it’s something you’d usually eat ‘as it comes’ (e.g. Ham or tomatoes) all meat and vegetables should be cooked before the egg mixture is added to them (or in some cases, before they are added to the egg mixture). Virtually anything goes, so there’s no excuse for not using up your leftovers now unless you’re talking stews and casseroles or something that’s already been cooked to a shapeless mush.
Meaty additions can include beef, pork, chicken, ham, lamb, turkey and all manner of sausages, including delicatessen types like chorizo, salami and pepperoni. You can add fish instead if you like – salmon or tuna are both popular choices.
Again, when it comes to vegetables you can add just about anything too. Onions are a feature of many frittata recipes, but there is virtually no limit to what you can throw in – peas, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, sweetcorn, courgettes… even squashes.
Potatoes are great for adding bulk, as are rice, noodles and pasta. Be careful reheating rice though. It’s probably best cooked just before you make your frittata, particularly if you’re going to be keeping some of it until the next day. Pasta needs to be in small shapes or cut to the approximate size of other inclusions.
Ring the changes with herbs and other flavourings. Try frying down minced garlic with your onions, or adding a dash of Worcestershire sauce to your egg mix. Experiment, and you’ll soon develop your own favourites.
Don’t forget to experiment with cheese too. As well as the usual Cheddar you could try Stilton, hard cheeses like Edam or Gouda, smoked cheeses or coloured cheeses such as Red Leicester or Double Gloucester. Stir into your frittata or sprinkle over the top, or perhaps do both. Learning how to make a frittata is easy, and it can be a lot of fun too.
Having prepared your egg mix, heat your oil in your frittata pan and gently fry your onions (together with any garlic) until almost soft. Olive oil is the traditional choice, but you can use other vegetable oils or even butter. The more substantial inclusions such as meat, fish or vegetables should be added to the pan next and everything gently fried together for a few more minutes. Liquid additions such as Worcestershire sauce can be added to the egg mix. Stir the egg mix into the pan, taking care to evenly distribute the meat and vegetables. You can stir in some cheese in at this point to if you like.
Continue to cook your frittata slowly over a low to medium heat for around ten to fifteen minutes until it’s almost set. At this point you can carefully turn it over and cook the top, or complete the cooking under a grill or in the oven for five or ten minutes. It might seem like stating the obvious, but do not put pans with plastic handles in the oven – your pan must be fully oven proof.
Now you know how to make a frittata there need be no stopping you. Try some of our recipes for frittata, or get creative and adapt them to come up with some of your own!