Ciao Italia Family Classics
Mary Ann returns to her family's humble beginnings to bring us a treasure trove of more than 200 time-honored recipes.
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Pietro Cardoni's Umbrian garden had everything I needed to make this vegetable frittatina, and the beauty of this "recipe" allows you to use a variety of your favorite vegetables in this tasty omelet whose flavor is lifted by a balsamic vinegar dressing. Instead of folding the vegetables into the egg mixture, they are cooked separately to retain their al dente texture, and placed on top of the frittata along with some aged ricotta cheese (ricotta salata) and peppery tasting arugola. A great luncheon idea!
Other vegetables could include small broccoli or cauliflower flowerets, asparagus, sweet peppers, summer squash, and sugar snap peas. Get inspired!
(For the Dressing)
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste
1/4 pound chunk pancetta, cut into cubes
1/2 pound green beans, julienned
2 small new potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 small carrots, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 slightly green tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 small zucchini, cubed
1/2 cup shredded arugola
1/4 pound ricotta salata cheese, in chips
Combine the salad dressing ingredients in a jar and set aside.
Fill a plastic bag with ice cubes and 3 cups of water and set aside.
Cook the pancetta in a 10-inch nonstick sauté pan until crispy. Drain the pancetta on paper towels and set aside.
Fill a one-quart saucepan with 3 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil and add one teaspoon of salt. Cook the beans uncovered until al dente, just tender; they should retain their crunch. Remove the beans with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the bag with the ice water. (This step stops the cooking process and allows the beans to retain their vibrant color.) Allow the beans to remain in the bag for 3 or 4 minutes, then remove the beans with a slotted spoon and allow them to drain on paper towels.
Add the potatoes to the boiling water and cook until al dente; remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon and set them aside. Cook the carrots in the same water and drain them as described for the green beans.
Whisk the eggs in a bowl with the parsley and salt. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a non-stick 10-inch skillet. Pour in the egg mixture and cook until the eggs are set. Slide the frittatina onto a serving dish. Cut it into 4 wedges. Arrange the tomato slices over the top of the frittatina, then the beans, potatoes, carrots, zucchini, arugola, and pancetta.
Pour the dressing over the top and sprinkle the cheese over the dressing. Serve immediately.
Variation: If you cannot have eggs in your diet, use EggBeaters, substituting 1 cup for the 4 eggs.
This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA IN UMBRIA by Mary Ann Esposito, published by St. Martin's Press in 2002.
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