Italian Sausage and Ricotta Frittata
“Ricotta Frittata” was not a planned attempt at a clever name by the way. It just worked itself out all on its own. Anyway, I love frittatas. They’re probably the best way to use up scraps left over from other meals without making some misshapen mass of pasta, pork chops and tortillas. The other thing that’s great about them is that it makes a great meal whenever you want to serve it. They’re perfect for a Sunday brunch, an easy dinner, lunch the next day and of course, breakfast. If you’ve never made one, try this Italian style egg dish soon and find out how easy it is to make something amazing out of the leftovers of dinners past.
5 Egg Whites + 6 Whole Eggs (or 9 Whole Eggs)
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream, Half and Half or Milk
2/3lb Hot or Mild Italian Sausage
3-4oz Cherry Tomatoes Halved
1/2 Cup Ricotta
1/4 Cup Parsley Chopped
2 Tbs Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Torn Basil to garnish
Like I said in the intro, a frittata is great for getting rid of leftovers. Many people actually put cooked pasta or rice into them because the starches help hold it together. I left them out in this one, but feel free to add to it if you want. Also, I used up some egg whites left over from making ice cream, but know that if you were to use all egg whites, it’s very hard to get it out of the pan whole.
A well-seasoned 9” cast iron pan is great for this dish because of the high sides. Otherwise a large non-stick pan will also do, just make sure it doesn’t have silicone or plastic handles as the whole pan needs to go in the oven.
Preheat your oven to 375º.
Whisk your eggs and cream together. The cream will add some richness but also help keep the eggs from getting overdone. You can use milk but don’t skip it. Add the parsley after whisking. Season with salt and pepper.
Take the casing off of the sausage and heat your pan on medium. Sear the sausage whole for a few minutes on both sides to get some browning, and then use a wooden spoon to break it into pieces. Continue to cook the sausage until it’s done and remove it from the pan. Your pan will probably have some seared on sausage on the bottom, which will make the eggs stick terribly if you were to simply add them now. Drain the fat from the pan and use a paper towel and some water to wipe out the bottom. Don’t bother washing it.
Reheat the pan and add the olive oil to it. Swirl it all over the pan and up the sides. Over medium heat, add some of the sausage back to the pan and pour the eggs over it. Arrange the halved tomatoes and then add the ricotta by large spoonfuls all over. Use your finger to slide the cheese off the spoon. Add the remaining sausage and place in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes.
You can check if it’s finished by giving the pan a slight shake. The middle should wobble ever so slightly and the sides should look puffy like a soufflé. When done remove it from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes to set. Run a rubber spatula around the edge and underneath to loosen it from the pan.
Slice into wedges and garnish with fresh torn basil. Serve with a side salad and hearty toast.