A few olives, a handful of herbs, some chips of cheese, and last night's leftover pasta-these are the things from which, in days gone by, frugal Italian cooks created a frittata, an omelet. In this version, plain fettucine and spinach-flavored fettucine are combined with grated vegetables and cooked side by side in a large sauté pan for a really gourmet look. Capellini (angel hair pasta) is also a good choice in place of the fettucine.
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
Grinding of black pepper
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated zucchini
1 medium-size carrot, grated
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated Italian Fontina cheese
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves
6 ounces plain fettucine (De Cecco, or Barilla)
6 ounces spinach fettucine
1/4 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons butter
Crack three of the eggs into each of two large bowls. Stir 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and a grinding of black pepper into each bowl.
Stir the zucchini into one bowl and the carrot into the other. Divide equally and stir the cheese into each bowl. Stir the nutmeg into the carrot mixture and the mint into the zucchini mixture. Set the bowls aside.
In a pasta pot with an insert bring the water to a boil. Add the 1 tablespoon of salt and the plain fettucine. Cook until al dente, then drain and transfer it to the bowl with the zucchini mixture. Toss the ingredients gently together and set aside.
In the same pot, cook the spinach fettucine until al dente and drain. Transfer the fettucine to the bowl with the carrot mixture and toss well. Set aside.
In a 10 or 12-inch) nonstick sauté pan, heat together 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Make sure the oil and butter evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Transfer the plain fettucine mixture to one half of the pan, smoothing out the top.
Pour the spinach fettucine mixture in the other half of the pan next to the plain fettucine and smooth the top. Make sure the two types of fettucine meet in the center of the pan. Cook over medium heat until the frittata easily moves away from the sides of the pan and moves freely when the pan is shaken.
Place a serving dish, pizza pan, or rimless baking sheet larger than the diameter of the sauté pan over the top and carefully invert the frittata onto the dish or pan. Set aside. Return the sauté pan to the heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter and when it is hot, slide the under-cooked side of the frittata back into the pan and cook the other side.
Invert the frittata once it is cooked onto a serving dish. Let cool slightly, then cut into wedges to serve.
TIP: Use a lightweight well-seasoned nonstick sauté pan for best results. The frittata will be easier to invert and less likely to stick to the pan.
NOTE: To make a low-fat, low-cholesterol version of this frittata, substitute commercially prepared fettucine, Egg Beaters (using 10 ounces for the 6 eggs), and low-fat cheese.
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