Saturday, 29 January 2011

Have you ever wondered what makes you love a specific country? Why have you visited this specific country on five consecutive years for the holidays? Why are you talking about this specific country with nostalgia? 

I still wonder what makes me and Jarek feel that way about Italy.... and why with every dish we love it more ...? We have an impression that there is something magical in Italian cuisine - firstly it catches you with its flavour and appearance and then seduces with the taste ... and that is all prepared a 'la minuta... :) 

Everyone knows that Italians love to cook and eat - it's the most important activity of daily living. I guess, it's just made by the ancient tradition of family gatherings that has survived to this day. During the feast, among the stormy debate about politics, sports or just a day, Italians  always exchange their comments on the consumed food. We fully support this tradition and practice in our house every day. Therefore, Italian food most often appear on our table - it's like a trip to sunny Italy ... 

Today, we prepared Roasted chillies frittata... In Italy, the frittata is a common way to use leftovers - usually made of pasta or vegetables from the previous day. Frittata is always fried, never baked in the oven as the other omlets, tortillles and tarts. Not for nothing it is called a frittata [Fritt-fried - comes from the verb fry - friggere]. Frittata is particularly popular in rural areas, and usually contains eggs, boiled or fried vegetables. Sometimes it also contains herbs or chopped chives, or fresh bread crumbs. In certain provisions, you can find meat or fish and cheese (fresh pecorino or formaggio fresco) or ricotta.

Roasted Chilli Frittata
inspired by Jamie Oliver
4 chillies
1 green pepper
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
'Extra Virgin' Olive Oil
handful of parsley
5 eggs
a handful of grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic
100g feta cheese (or goat's cheese)
salt and pepper to taste
rocket salad

Preheat your oven to full whack. Prick each of your chillies and pepper with a small sharp knife then blacken over a gas flame, in a dry griddle pan or under a grill. Once they’re nicely charred, pop them in a bowl and cover with clingfilm. After 10 minutes, remove the skin, stalks and seeds, then delicately tear lengthways into thin strips. Put these back in the bowl and marinate in red wine vinegar, a lug of olive oil and the parsley stalks. 

Heat olive oil and some butter in a small ovenproof frying pan, then add half of your marinated chillies and the garlic. Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a bowl with some grated parmesan and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Put a few of your parsley leaves to one side, then finely chop the rest and add them to the eggs. 

Pour the eggs into the pan then crumble in half of the goat’s cheese. Move the pan around a bit to spread everything around. When the egg is just starting to set, crumble most of the remaining goat’s cheese over, then pop the frittata in a hot oven for 5 minutes or until it doubles in size. Some people cook their frittatas all the way through, but I prefer mine only just done. Once it’s out of the oven, delicately drape the rest of your marinated chilli strips over the top, crumble over the last few bits of goat’s cheese, then drizzle over a little of the chilli marinade. Sprinkle with the reserved parsley and serve with something fresh and lovely, like a rocket, lemon and parmesan salad.


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