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A frittata is an open-faced Italian omelet. Some frittate, like the one here, employ vegetables, others cooked pasta, grated cheese, or chopped prosciutto. The simplest version of all, perhaps, calls only for a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar over the top. To make a frittata successfully, you will need a good heavy-bottomed skillet.
1/2 pound pencil-thin asparagus, trimmed & cut into 1-inch lengths 6 eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt & pepper
4 tablespoons butter
1 small red onion, minced
Preheat the broiler. In a saucepan of boiling salted water, blanch the asparagus for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until just tender. Drain and refresh under cold water.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs with 1/3 cup of the Parmesan and salt and pepper. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, warm the butter until hot. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add the asparagus pieces and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Pour the beaten eggs into the skillet, reduce the heat to low, and cook the mixture, covered, for 8 minutes, or until the eggs are almost set.
Sprinkle the top of the firittata with the remaining cheese. Place under the broiler about 4 inches from the heat and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the eggs are set. Cut into wedges and serve. Serves 4 to 6.
Rollo alla Cacciatora
Meat, game, or poultry can be cooked alla cacciatora, or "in the hunter's style," though the style seems to vary from cook to cook. Generally, these dishesinclude onions and other vegetables. In this version, the tomatoes, wine, and herbs add a great deal of the flavor. In some recipes, olives and/or anchovies are included.
1 (3-pound) chicken, cut into serving pieces, rinsed, & patted dry
Salt & pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, & cut into strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups drained, peeled, & chopped tomatoes or 1 (28-ounce) can peeled tomatoes, drained & chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the chicken in 2 tablespoons of the oil, turning occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until browned. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat it until hot. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the wine and reduce for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, and salt and pepper, and bring the mixture to a simmer.
Return the chicken to the skillet and simmer, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Reduce the vegetable mixture in the skillet, stirring, until it is thick, about 3 minutes. Spoon the vegetable mixture over the chicken. Sprinkle the dish with the basil. Serves 4 to 6.
The Best of Italy. Copyright © by Evie Righter. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.