GREEN PEA FRITTATA
Much like any frittata, this is the sort of tricky dish that will present itself to you as a simple affair while in truth being nothing of the sort.
In my family, Green Pea Frittata was my maternal grandmother Nonna Dora’s piece de rèsistance. The fact that, when asked about it, she would very nonchalantly summarize it as ” just your standard frittata” was not just reductive but downright cruel to anyone who would then, bolstered by the promise of simplicity, attempt to replicate it.
As you might imagine, nearly all of us (numerous) grandkids did attempt it at various times, every one of us invariably failing with disparate yet equally disheartening results.
This is also true of myself: after many years and many doomed attempts at replication, I finally gave up and decided to create my own take on the recipe.
My version consists of baking the frittata in the oven using a deep, well greased cake tin that has been dusted with breadcrumbs.
The result? Delicious, best served with a side of greens or with a salad.
Here it is:
450 gr. fresh or frozen green (garden) peas
4 whole eggs
120 gr. pancetta cubes (lardons)
1 medium white onion (finely chopped)
100 gr. parmesan cheesecake (grated)
Milk (a dash, for the eggs)
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Black Pepper
Fry the onion and the pancetta and a tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Once the onion has turned translucent, throw the peas in. Mix well while seasoning with the salt and pepper (to taste), then reduce the heat to minimum and cover.
Let it keep cooking until the peas are al dente: you want them cooked, but not quite cooked through.
While you wait for the peas to soften, whisk the eggs in a bowl. Add a splash of milk and a little salt and pepper. Once you’ve got a smooth mixture, add the parmesan cheese and keep mixing.
Back to the peas. Once you are happy with their consistency, turn the heat off and let the pan cool down for a few minutes. This will avoid cooking the eggs too quickly when they come in contact with the rest of the ingredients.
While the ingredients in the frying pan are cooling down, grab a 22 cm./ 9 in. circular cake tin. Grease it well with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (I recommend using a brush for this process). Dust the cake tin with the breadcrumbs, much like you would dust a cake tray with flour when baking a cake.
Finally, add the peas to the eggs, mix well, and pour the mix into the cake tin. Cover everything with a generous dusting of breadcrumbs and a splash of olive oil, and it’s ready for the oven!
Set the oven to 180 C°, with the fan on. Bake the frittata until it turns to a brownish golden tint. Let it stand for a few minutes before serving and remember: as yummy as Green Peas Frittata might taste straight out of the oven, that is nothing compared to how delicious it will be the next day. Don’t say I didn’t tell you!