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Frittata (Italian open-faced omelet)

(Italian open-faced omelet)

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A frittata (Italian plural: frittate) is an Italian egg dish, similar to a crustless French quiche, that is studded with a variety of flavorful, seasonal ingredients. Often referred to as an "open-faced omelet," frittatas are cut into wedges and served warm or at room temperature as part of a breakfast, brunch or light meal.

The ingredients you add to your frittata are mix and match as you like, and making frittatas is a great way to clean out your fridge. See the variations below for a list of some common Italian frittatas.

4 to 6 servings


  • Eggs -- 6 to 8
  • Milk -- 3 or 4 tablespoons
  • Optional ingredients (see variations) -- 1 to 2 cups
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Olive oil -- 2 or 3 tablespoons


  1. Beat the eggs and milk together in a large bowl until smooth.
  2. Prepare the optional ingredients as needed. Allow to cool if necessary and stir into the eggs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized cast-iron or non-stick skillet over medium-low flame. Give the egg mixture a big stir and pour into the skillet and cook over low heat until the frittata is well set but still runny on the top, 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Set the frittata in the oven under a broiler until the eggs are cooked through and lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Let the frittata rest for 5 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve with a side salad and slices of crusty bread.

Frittata Variations

  • How To Finish Your Frittata on the Stove: When the frittata is mostly set, place a large platter over the skillet and carefully flip the skillet to drop the frittata on the platter. Slide the frittata back into the skillet to finish cooking the other side.
  • How To Cook your Frittata in the Oven: Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour the egg mixture into an oiled, ovenproof skillet, baking dish or cake pan. Bake until well set and lightly browned on the top, 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Frittata al Quattro Formaggi (Four-cheese frittata): Mix together 1/4 cup of each of four different cheeses. Try mozzarella, Swiss, asiago and Parmesan.
  • Frittata al Tonno (Tuna frittata): Stir in 1 (8-ounce) can tuna in oil, drained, 1 chopped roasted red bell pepper and some chopped parsley.
  • Frittata di Asparagi (Asparagus frittata): Use 1 bunch of blanched, chopped asparagus and 1/2 cup Parmesan or pecorino cheese.
  • Frittata di Carciofi (Artichoke heart frittata): Use cooked, chopped artichoke hearts.
  • Frittata di Funghi (Mushroom frittata): Stir in sliced and sauteed mushrooms. Use a variety of mushrooms for more flavor. Great for fall or winter frittatas.
  • Frittata di Menta (Mint frittata): Add 1 bunch of chopped parsley, 1/2 bunch mint leaves.
  • Frittata di Pasta (Pasta frittata): Use up pasta leftovers. Stir in 1 or 2 cups of cooked pasta and 1/2 cup of ricotta and some Parmesan or pecorino cheese. Bucatini is a traditional pasta for this frittata, but any cooked pasta will do. Frittate di pasta are great for picnics.
  • Frittata di Pinoli (Pine nut frittata): A unique frittata from northern Italy. Use 1/2 cup pine nuts. Grind half the pine nuts in a spice or coffee grinder and stir into the eggs. Saute the remaining pine nuts in the olive oil until lightly toasted. Do not overcook! Reduce heat to low, stir in the egg mixture and cook as directed. Sometimes this frittata incorporates sliced, sauteed zucchini.
  • Frittata di Pomodori (Tomato Frittata): Slice two tomatoes 1/4-inch thick. Heat 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Lay the tomato slices into the pan in a neat pattern and saute for 1 or 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and carefully pour in the eggs — flavored with some chopped basil and Parmesan cheese). Finish cooking as directed.
  • Frittata di Riso agli Asparagi (Rice and asparagus frittata): Use 1 cup cooked rice or risotta, some chopped, blanch asparagus, 2 or 3 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Frittata Rustica (Rustic vegetable frittata): Stir in some sauteed onion, sauteed mushrooms, peas, artichoke hearts and a little chopped parsley.
  • Frittata di Salciccia (Sausage frittata): Add sauteed mild or spice Italian sausage. Saute some sliced onions with the sausage too.
  • Frittate di Zucchine (Zucchini frittata): Saute 1 medium, sliced zucchini and a little minced garlic in some olive oil until the zucchini is just tender but not totally cooked through. Cool the zucchini, then stir the zucchini, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan and some chopped fresh basil or thyme into the egg. Cook as directed.
  • Frittata Tre Sapori (Frittata of 3 Flavors): Add 1/2 pound cubed mortadella, 1/2 cup cooked green beans, 1/4 cup cubed fresh mozzarella, chopped, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan. The mortadella can be lightly browned first if you like.
  • Other Optional Ingredients: Cooked potatoes, broccoli, ham.


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