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May 29

Mistaken Identity of a Fritatta

by in Europe, Everyday Journeys

Another gorgeous afternoon in New York City.  Especially on a day like this, food should match the sunshine.

In my mind’s eye, there is a simple equation: sunshine + blue skies + light breeze = fritatta for lunch.  I’ve always pictured beautiful people in Spain sitting outdoors, drinking cava and devouring delicious fritattas.  They are all bronzed to perfection, without a care in the world.  Fritatta = magical faraway land of long lunches, followed by serious siestas.

But alas! My fritatta friend is an impostor.  As I’ve only found out today, he is in fact Italian.  It is his close cousin, the tortilla, that actually hails from Spain.

Fritatta cooking in a pan

Fritatta del Giorno


What separates the two I hear you ask?  Apparently it is the egg factor and the use of an oven.  The fritatta is dominated by the egg mixture, whereas it is only used lightly to bind the vegetables in a tortilla.  Both are cooked in a pan, but the fritatta is then slotted into the oven to finish.

Technicalities aside, a fritatta is such an easy and delightful sunny day lunch.

Fritatta on a plate with arugula and toasted almonds

Italian fritatta with arugula and lightly toasted almonds


As I savor the taste, I can’t help but notice that all roads seem to lead back to Rome.  Perhaps someday soon I’ll stop procrastinating and finally write about last week’s trip to Italy.

In the meantime, boun appetito!


Fritatta del Giorno (read: add in whatever is left in the fridge from last night!)

  • 1/2 cup of onions
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of quarter inch thick sliced potatoes
  • 1 cup of diced veges. Red peppers, corgettes, eggplant or similar seem to work well.
  • 4 organic cage free eggs
  • 4 tablespoons of creamed corn (Ah huh! A magic ingredient that keeps it from falling apart)
  • Dashes of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup of freshly grated grana pardano stravecchio or parmesan cheese

In a small skillet on medium low heat, cook the onions and potato slices in a tablespoon of oil for 5 minutes.  Add the remaining vegetables and cook until they soften, but are not fully done.  Remove the filling from the skillet and set the filling aside.  Wipe the skillet clean, add the remaining olive oil and heat on the stove top.  Preheat the grill on low.

Beat the eggs in a bowl, and add the creamed corn.  Season with salt and pepper.  Once the skillet is hot, pour the egg mixture into the pan.  It should bubble around the sides.  Let it cook for 1 – 2 minutes, then add the vegetable filling directly into the pan.  Let it keep cooking on medium high heat until the edges start to firm up, and the center is still a little floppy.

Sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the fritatta, then place the skillet under the grill.  This should firm up the center of the fritatta, and also melt the grana cheese, making a delicious slightly saltier top.  Keep watch, and when the egg mixture looks solid on top but still jiggles a little when you shake the pan, remove from the broiler.  Removing at this point and letting it stand for 5 minutes will allow the fritatta to keep cooking to perfection.

Break out some cava, prosecco or what ever takes your fancy and enjoy!

Serves 2 – 3.


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