I really love frittatas! I love quiches and omelettes too but with a quiche, I need to make a crust and I find them a little ‘picnicky’ and summery, Omelettes are awesome and we often have them for dinner but I can only feed two people with a large omelette. Frittatas…..well, aside from the fact that the name just sounds really flash, there’s no crust to make and even though I enjoy chowing down on a quiche crust more than anything, I don’t always have that much extra time. A decent sized frittata can feed 6 – 8 people, so there’s enough for every one, two nights dinner even, and the fact that they’re fried and then finished in the oven until they are golden seems more apt for these chillier nights dinners, even if I do always serve them with a salad and of course some nice fresh, crusty bread.
If you’ve never heard of a frittata, it’s an egg-based classic Italian brunch dish (frittata means ‘fried’ in Italian).The filling is just like a quiche without the crust made with eggs and cream with cooked meats and vegetables added. It’s also like an omelette as in it starts off on the stovetop in a frying pan where you set the bottom and sides but being deeper. it’s finished off in the oven, whereas I set the shallower omelette under the grill (broiler). It’s nearly the same as a Spanish omelette except again it’s finished in the oven and not flipped over. A Spanish omelette is only eggs, onion and potatoes (when I say ‘only’ I really mean ‘nom nom nom, a potato omelette!’). A frittata, you can add all sorts of ingredients (great for using leftovers).
I have made many different kinds in the past and sliced them into wedges for the cafe cabinet, This is one of my favourites and it’s very tasty. It’s filled with roasted pumpkin, spicy chorizo sausage, onion, garlic, fresh parsley and rosemary and is topped with cheddar cheese and feta…..sound good?…..that’s because it is!
700 g/1 ½ pounds pumpkin (including seeds & skin)
6 tablespoons light or medium olive oil
¾ teaspoon black, cracked pepper
1 small or ½ medium-sized onion
1 medium or 2 small cloves garlic
2 medium, 3 small or 1 large chorizo sausage/s (either raw or cured)
50 g/1 ¾ oz cheddar cheese (¾ cup when grated)
125 g/4 ½ ounces feta
fresh parsley (2 tablespoons when chopped)
sprig fresh rosemary (1 tablespoon when chopped)
½ teaspoon salt
7 medium-sized eggs
¾ cup full cream
Optional – 1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
Serves 6 – 8
- For this recipe, you’ll need a frying pan or skillet that can go from being used on the stove top to being placed into the oven, so one with a metal handle. PLEASE be mindful when it comes out of the oven and use a thick oven glove or a tea towel folded into 4 to hold the handle. Also, I yell out and tell the whole family “Don’t touch the handle of the pan on the stovetop!”…..because frying pan handles haven’t usually been in the oven.
- I use a heavy-based, ovenproof, non-stick frying pan that’s 26 x 26 cm/10 x 10 inches (across the top). If your pan is wider it will cook in less time than mine and if it’s smaller it may take a little longer as it’ll be deeper, but not to worry too much about that, it’ll only be 5 minutes or so.
- I roast, rather than boil the pumpkin for this as it’s going into a wet mix so I want it to be drier going in, not in anyway watery…..it has much better flavour roasted anyway, doesn’t it!
- Sometimes I use unsweetened yoghurt in a ‘summery‘ frittata to make it a little ‘lighter’ but this one with the wintery pumpkin and warm, spicy sausage needs the full cream so it’s rich and creamy, please don’t substitute for the much runnier milk, at least until you have tried it with cream first! 🙂
STEP BY STEP
First, place a rack in the centre of the oven and turn it to 160°C/325°F fan bake/convection oven or 180°C/350°F conventional oven, on bake or roast.
Cut the pumpkin into wedges, deseed them, remove the skin and then chop them into roughly 3 x 2 cm/1 x 1¾ inch pieces.
Place the pumpkin into a roasting pan, toss it in 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of the black pepper.
Place it in the oven for 15 minutes.
Then carefully turn it using a spatula…..
…..and return it to the oven for another 10 minutes or until it’s nicely roasted around the edges and tender in the centre.
Once done just leave it in the roasting pan for now and turn the oven down to 150°C/300°F fan bake/convection oven or 170°C/325°F conventional oven, on bake.
Whilst the pumpkin is roasting you can prepare the other ingredients.
First, finely dice the onion and either grate or use your chef’s knife to finely dice the garlic. Leave aside (but not together) for now.
If using cured chorizo….
Slice it/them up into 1 cm/¾ inch slices and add them to the onion.
If using raw chorizo sausage…..
In the frying pan, over a medium heat, heat up 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and then turning often, cook them for around 10 minutes or until they are nicely browned and just cooked through.
Remove them from the heat and place them on a chopping board. Using tongs to hold them, slice them into 1 cm/¾ inch slices and then add them to the onion. Also, clean the pan, ready to use again.
Next, grate the cheese and crumble or chop up the feta into little pieces. Set aside for now.
Also, roughly chop up the parsley (just roughly for Italian parsley and more finely if using curly parsley) and the rosemary. Set aside also.
Get ready the salt, black pepper and the sweet chilli sauce (if using it).
Right, last bit of prep to do before you get busy actually making the thing, but don’t worry, you’ve done all of the hard work!…..In a large bowl whisk the eggs and the cream together until fully combined. Set aside.
In a large bowl whisk the eggs and the cream together until fully combined. Set aside.
Now, in the frying pan, over a medium heat, heat up 1 more tablespoon of the olive oil.
When the oil is hot add the onion and the sliced chorizo and stirring often sauté them together for three minutes or until the onion is soft.
Then add the garlic and still stirring often, cook for another minute.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the contents of the pan to the egg and cream mixture (also, wash the frying pan, you’ll need it again shortly).
Also add to the egg and cream mixture, the pumpkin, around two-thirds of the chopped herbs, the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the black pepper. Carefully (so as not to mush up the pumpkin!) fold it all through to combine.
Is the oven still on? If you’ve turned it off it needs to be at 150°C/300°F fan bake/convection oven or 170°C/325 °F conventional oven, on bake.
Again, over a medium heat up the last tablespoon of olive oil. Now it needs to be really hot, we don’t want to set the kitchen ablaze but it’s necessary.
- This is important if the oil’s not hot when you try to remove the frittata from the pan later on it will probably stick to the bottom of the pan.
So after a minute, it should be hot enough. Then get a paper towel and carefully (without burning your fingers) wipe the oil all over the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
Next, spoon a small amount of the frittata mixture into the pan. If it sets quickly (like an omelette) pour all of it in. If it doesn’t set quickly heat the pan up a while longer until the mix passes the ‘is the pan hot enough for this frittata to have a nice golden crust and not stick to the bottom’ test!
Once all of the mixture is in, don’t be tempted to stir it…..we don’t want scrambled eggs! But do use a pair of tongs to pick up and replace bits of pumpkin or chorizo if you don’t think they aren’t evenly distributed.
Leave the pan on the heat for around two minutes or until you think the sides and bottom have browned slightly and you can see the egg has started to set around the edges.
- You can use a spatula to peek down the sides, however the bottom is a little bit of guesswork and if you smell the bottom burning…..ABORT ABORT, get it off the heat as quickly as possible!
Once nicely set around the edges, turn off the heat and remove it onto a cold hob/element or a chopping board.
Sprinkle the grated cheese all over the top and then scatter over the feta and the remaining herbs.
Crack the remaining ¼ teaspoon of cracked pepper over and if using it, drizzle the sweet chilli sauce over the top.
Place it in the oven and bake it for 35 minutes or until lightly browned all over (it will be a little darker around the edges) and firm to touch in the centre.
- It will always be set in the centre before it reaches that lovely brown colour that I personally prefer but as long there’s no jiggly mixture in the centre, it’s done.
- And, again please be careful with the hot handle as we usually grab panhandles with our bare hands so it’s easy to forget it’s hot this time!
Leave it in the pan to cool a little for at least 10 minutes.
Run a spatula around the sides and carefully under the frittata to loosen it, also making sure it’s not stuck to the pan and then with the help of the spatula (or two) tilt the pan and carefully slide it out onto a serving plate or chopping board.
- If your pan is non-stick and you oiled the bottom and sides well, it should easily slide out…..I hope!
Serve with relish or extra sweet chilli sauce, a nice salad and of course, some crusty, fresh bread. 🙂
Keepin’ it fresh – If covered, it will keep nicely in the fridge up to 3 days. To reheat wrap in foil and place in the oven at the temperature it was cooked on until warm. Alternatively, reheat a single slice in the microwave for around 1 minute 50 seconds.