Frittata col Peperoncino

Chilli Frittata

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

The Italian flat omelette, known as a frittata, can be made with all sorts of fillings, from cooked vegetables to leftover pasta. In Basilicata, spicy red chillies are often included, with the addition of pecorino cheese for extra piquancy. Chillies are used liberally in the cooking of this region and are somewhat revered by the locals - a custom that dates from the times when it was believed that they offered protection from epidemic diseases such as the plague and cholera. Heat the olive oil in a wide frying pan. Add the sliced hot chilli and fry over medium heat for 3 minutes. Strain into a large bowl, discarding the chilli and any seeds, and leave the chilli-flavoured oil to cool. Do not wipe the pan clean.

Ingredients

  • 45 ml/3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra if needed
  • 1 very hot dried red chilli, sliced into rounds
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 medium hot dried red chilli, finely chopped
  • 75 g/3 oz/¾ cup grated pecorino cheese
  • sea salt (optional)
  • crisp salad, to serve (optional)

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a wide frying pan. Add the sliced hot chilli and fry over medium heat for 3 minutes. Strain into a large bowl, discarding the chilli and any seeds, and leave the chilli-flavoured oil to cool. Do not wipe the pan clean.
  2. Break the eggs into the bowl with the chilli oil. Whisk lightly, then add the chopped red chilli and the pecorino cheese. Beat well. Season with salt if necessary, but check the cheese first as pecorino can be salty.

  3. Reheat the frying pan, adding a little more olive oil if needed. When it is very hot, pour in the egg mixture. Shiver the pan so the mixture spreads evenly to the edges.

  4. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, occasionally lifting the edges of the frittata and tilting the pan so that liquid mixture flows underneath and sets. Do not let the base of the frittata burn.

  5. Invert the frittata on to a large plate. The easiest way to do this is to place a large plate upside down on top of the frittata, covering it completely. Then, holding plate and pan firmly together, quickly turn both over. Slide the frittata back into the pan.
  6. Return the pan to the heat and cook the frittata for a further 2-3 minutes, until the base is golden brown. Slide out on to a clean, flat platter and serve hot or cold, with a crisp salad, if you like.