This recipe takes me back to very formal and slow lunches at my grandmother s house when I was a little girl. I remember eating this as a first course, sitting in my Nonna’s grand dining room with vast napkins, designed for protecting long full skirts, which swamped my whole lower body in starched white damask. Frittata al Sugo was often on the menu, followed usually by some sort of roasted meat.

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Ingredients

Frittata

  • 8 large eggs
  • 8 oz mozzarella, drained and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley or basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tomato Sauce

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 large celery stalk
  • 1 large carrot
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh or canned tomatoes or passata

Method

  1. Beat the eggs together in a large bowl. Add the mozzarella, milk, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste and stir well until thoroughly combined.
  2. Heat the olive oil in an 8 in skillet until sizzling, then pour in the egg mixture. Pull the mixture into the center, rotating and turning the pan so the egg sets and browns on the underside.
  3. After about 5 minutes, or when the mixture feels firm and reasonably set, turn the frittata over by placing a large plate on top of the skillet and turning the skillet upside down so that the frittata falls onto the plate with the cooked side uppermost.
  4. Carefully slide the frittata back into the hot skillet with the cooked side on top and the uncooked side underneath. Shake the skillet to settle the contents and cook for a further 3 or 4 minutes. Slide the frittata out of the pan onto a clean serving plate and allow to cool completely.
  5. While the frittata is cooling, make the tomato sauce. Using a sharp knife, chop the onion, celery, and carrot. Pour the oil into the skillet and add the vegetables. Fry very gently and slowly until all the vegetables are soft and the onion becomes transparent. Add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly.
  6. Cover and allow to simmer gently for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. When the frittata is cold, cut it into strips about as wide as your thumb and add it to the tomato sauce. Mix together gently and serve immediately, sprinkled with grated Parmigiano.

To Serve

freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

“In most Italian households the marketing is done twice a day. Everything is freshly cooked for every meal. What the Italian kitchen misses in the form of concentrated meat glazes, fumets of fish and game, the fonds de cuisine of the French, it makes up for in the extreme freshness and lavishness of its raw materials. It is worth bearing in mind that when an Italian has not the wherewithal to cook one of the traditional extravagant dishes she doesn’t attempt to produce an imitation.”

Elizabeth David, Italian Food

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