Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spaghetti frittata

Growing up, the only experience I had with cooking was when my brother and I joined our dad in his kitchen a few times a month. In high school, I began to experiment a bit with cooking for myself, but in college, I lost access to the requisite space and appliances to do much beyond microwave mac and cheese and suffer through meals in the dining hall.

The major exception was the summer I spent living with an amazing group of girls in a house in Somerville, Mass., a half-hour walk from our jobs near campus. A few of them were pretty tremendous cooks, and one of them, Naomi, introduced me to a dish that I fell in love with pretty instantly. I don't recall the details of her rendition of the spaghetti frittata, but I do remember how delicious it was, and how different from anything I'd ever seen.

The dish is now commonplace in our house, where Jon and I call it "spaghetti dentata" for the toothy bite the top layer of pasta develops under the broiler -- and where I vary the execution a bit every time I make it. Most often, we have this for brunch, but it makes for a great quick weeknight dinner, especially when you have lots of wonderful, farm-fresh eggs on hand from the greenmarket. Last night, I stirred some roasted garlic and onion jam into the mix, which gave it a pleasant sweetness, and served it over baby wild arugula with a mustardy vinaigrette.


1/2 package whole wheat spaghetti (we love the Trader Joe's brand)
6 extra large eggs
2 tbsp roasted garlic and onion jam (Stonewall Kitchen makes this incredible condiment)
3 tbsp grated parmigiano reggiano
1 tbsp butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain.
2. Beat the eggs with roasted garlic and onion jam and 2 tbsp parmigiano. Add salt to taste.
3. Melt butter in a 10-inch skillet. Pour egg mixture into pan, and immediately add spaghetti into egg mixture, making sure it's evenly distributed. Grind a generous amount of black pepper on top, and let cook over medium-high heat until the top is almost set (about 10 minutes).
4. Sprinkle remaining tbsp of parmigiano over top of fritta, and move the skillet to the broiler for the top to set and brown (about 3-4 minutes, but keep a close eye on it to ensure it doesn't burn).
5. Slice into six or eight wedges, serve, and eat.

Yield: 3-4 servings


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