Sausage and Vegetable Frittata

This is a great recipe either to use leftovers or start from scratch and produce whatever you want for either a hearty dinner for two [there will still be leftovers!] or light lunch with salad.  It is delicious cold the next day.  You could easily make this totally vegetarian; the addition of mushrooms is particularly good; or make with just one or two main ingredients [eg zucchini and red capsicum]. 

The recipe does call for a lot of extra virgin olive oil but I use only a couple teaspoons for each stage – if that.  You can replace with canola oil without experiencing a great change in taste, or cut way back on all use of oils. 

If making from scratch, there is undeniably a lot of prep work and mess; I find it’s a good idea to wash up and wipe as you go along [I try to make the simultaneous clean-up a habit in the kitchen, but I’m not always successful].

I prefer to use my big Le Creuset braising fry pan as it goes into the oven toward the end to brown the top, and creates a gorgeous crust under and on top of the frittata.  Any ovenproof fry/sauté/braising pan will do, or you can use a non-stick or stainless steel pan, and at the end cut the frittata into wedges and flip – messily it must be said – to brown the other side.

Serves 4 – 6.

. . . . . . . . . .

Ingredients:

6 sausages – I prefer good pork sausages or a combination with some chorizo or even bacon

2 large white potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters

6 cloves garlic [or less; I’m a garlic whore], peeled, crushed and finely minced

1 large, or 2 small, zucchini, top and tailed, sliced lengthwise then sliced thinly on the diagonal

1 large red capsicum, top and white pith and seeds removed and sliced into thin strips

3 large ripe Roma tomatoes, tops removed and sliced lengthwise, then sliced thinly on the diagonal

2 tbs each fresh parsley and thyme, coarsely chopped

2 tsp each freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

6 eggs, lightly beaten

. . . . . . . . . .

Method:

Peel the potatoes, cut into quarters and parboil, then allow to cool slightly and cut into smaller dice or thick slices.  Prepare the rest of the vegetables and mise en place and have everything ready.

Heat an ovenproof braising/frying pan with a little extra virgin olive oil and cook the sausages until golden [don’t forget to prick the skins otherwise they’ll explode on you!  I don’t care for the aesthetics in this case, but pork fat in the eyes is not pleasant].  Remove and set aside on a plate to cool.  While sauteeing the vegetables, slice the sausages into 0.5 cm rounds.  Don’t discard the juices … yet.

Wipe out the pan and add a little more olive oil and increase heat to high.  Shake in the potato cubes and sauté, shaking constantly, until golden on all sides, about 15 minutes total.  Turn out onto the plate with the sausage slices.

Wipe out the pan again but don’t remove all the nice crunchy bits of potato and sausage, as they add a lot to the overall flavour.  Heat a little more olive oil and add garlic, zucchini, capsicum and tomato.  Stir over a low-medium heat until melted – just like cooking a ratatouille.  When nicely melted together add the fresh parsley and thyme and a couple teaspoons freshly ground sea salt and black pepper.   Stir well, and spoon out on to a separate plate.

Wipe out the pan again.  Add a little olive oil and bring to a medium high heat. In a LARGE bowl lightly beat the eggs and stir in the sausage slices, potato, zucchini-capsicum-tomato-garlic mixture until well combined.  Now you need to pre-heat the oven, if using – about 180C.

When the pan is hot, pour in the frittata mixture and cook, pushing the edges in from the sides with a spatula and ensuring the egg and other ingredients are evenly distributed.  Grind over a little extra pepper and salt.  Shake the pan occasionally to loosen the edges and underside of the frittata.

When the bottom of the frittata is golden brown [check by lifting the edge with a spatula], turn off the burner and heave the pan into the oven to cook the top, about 15 minutes or so.  If you are using a non-stick or stainless steel frying pan, cut the frittata into four wedges with a spatula and turn each wedge over to cook the un-browned side.  It will be messy and bits will fall apart!  But hey, it still tastes great.

When the frittata is ready, remove from the oven and allow to “rest” for another 15 minutes before slicing and serving; or allow to cool even further before serving, as it is one of those dishes that benefits from resting – if you can wait that long!

Serve with a big green salad, and chunks of crusty bread if liked.  A glass or two of Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc goes particularly well with this, or a light-bodied red.

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