This pea and spring onion frittata is ideal for lunch or a midweek evening meal. Delicious served hot or cold.
- Quick and Easy
- Hot or cold
- Great for using up ingredients
- Cheap and cheerful
Frittata, Tortilla or Omelette?
So what exactly is a Frittata and how does it vary from a Tortilla or omelette?
When deciding what to call this recipe it made me think about what exactly is a Frittata. Is it just the Italian name for what a Spaniard would call a tortilla and we Brits might call an omelette? I decided to do a bit of research.
The Italian word frittata derives from friggere and roughly means "fried". This was originally a general term for cooking eggs in a frying pan or skillet.
More recently frittata has become a term for a deeper omelette with at least one additional ingredient added to the eggs before cooking. Unlike a conventional omelette where the ingredients are added on top of a cooked omelette before folding.
The eggs may be whisked, to incorporate more air than in a traditional omelette, to allow a deeper filling and a fluffier result. The mixture is then cooked over a very low heat, more slowly than an omelette, until the underside is set but the top is still runny. It is then either turned over or grilled briefly to set the top layer or baked. – source Wikipedia.
So we can see that basically a Frittata is a deep flavoured omelette. But how does it differ to a Tortilla?
According to The Gormandmum, the main difference between a tortilla and a frittata is in how the eggs are finished. The Tortilla is always cooked completely on the hob and a Frittata is finished in the oven.
Note: This varies from the Wikipedia definition and while a traditional Tortilla is cooked on the stovetop, I have also seen recipes for tortillas that are baked, including my own Baked Tortilla. So I think we can conclude that a frittata and a tortilla are indeed much the same thing.
So given that this Pea and spring onion frittata is flavoured with Parmesan and ricotta cheese which are Italian and the eggs whites are whisked to make it lighter in texture I have opted to call it a Frittata.
Confession time! My baked tortilla has Mozzarella in it so maybe that should also have been a Frittata. We Brits love taking other cuisines and giving them our own not always authentic tweaks, so please forgive me.
- It is essential that you use a frying pan with an ovenproof hand when following this recipe as it stands. If you do not have a suitable pan, grease a 23cm (9in) solid round cake tin. Fold the cooked spring onions into the frittata along with the peas and herbs before transferring to the tin and then bake.
- Take extra care when removing a frying pan from the oven. Keep the handle covered with a cloth, it is very easy to forget the handle is hot and go to pick it up again. (Trust me I've done it!)
A versatile dish
A dish for any time of the day
One thing is for sure, a Frittata makes a great versatile dish. Delicious hot or cold it can be served for lunch, dinner or even breakfast or brunch. Perfect for picnics and great for packed lunches.
Easy to adapt
I have added peas but you can easily change that to another vegetable which makes Frittatas ideal for using up any spare veggies such as broccoli or carrots that you have in the fridge. Simple cook until just tender to the bite before adding.
The Ricotta can be replaced by creme fraiche, cream, mascarpone or even milk and the Parmesan with another grated hard cheese such as cheddar or gruyere. The choice is really down to you.
I’ve thrown in some chopped parsley but you could easily substitute that with snipped chives, chopped mint or some shredded basil leaves.
Step by step Fritatta
Pea and Spring onion (scallion) Frittata
- 200 g frozen peas
- bunch spring onions about 8
- 15 g butter
- 6 large eggs
- 3 tbsp ricotta, crème fraîche or milk
- 50 g Parmesan cheese finely grated
- 4 tbsp chopped parsley (optional)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200℃ (180℃ fan)/400°F/gas mark 6.Place 200g (7oz) frozen peas in a small pan and cover with boiling water. Return to the boil, then drain and set aside.
- Trim a bunch of spring onions and slice including some of the green part tops of the onions. Melt 15g (½ oz) butter in a frying pan with an oven proof handle and gently sauté the spring onions until just tender. Set aside.
- Separate 6 eggs. Add 3 tbsp ricotta cheese, crème fraîche or milk and 50g grated Parmesan cheese to the egg yolks. Season with salt and pepper.
- Then carefully fold in the remaining egg yolk mixture. Whisk the egg whites until standing on soft peaks, then using a metal spoon or spatula, fold in a little of the egg yolk mixture.
- Fold in the drained peas, followed by 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, then pour into the frying pan. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until pale golden and set.
- Serve hot, warm or cold cut into wedges. Enjoy
- It is essential that you use a frying pan with an ovenproof handle. If you do not have a suitable pan, grease a 20cm (8in) solid round cake tin. Fold the cooked spring onions into the frittata along with the peas and herbs and bake.
- Take extra care when removing a frying pan from the oven. Keep the handle covered with a cloth, it is very easy to forget the handle is hot and go to pick it up again.
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