Pasta Frittata with Sausage and Hot Peppers

After returning from my nearly month-long trip to Africa/Europe, I am eager to start cooking again. I saw this recipe on America’s Test Kitchen which automatically recorded while I was away. The recipe has a few technical issues that prevented it from surpassing 3-1/2 stars, but those problems are easily rectified and this can make a delicious meal. The Frittata does not need to be piping hot, in fact, I enjoyed a slice after it had cooled for about 30 minutes more than my first slice. 3 Tablespoons of coarsely chopped cherry peppers was a little too overpowering; next time I will try two tablespoons of more finely chopped cherry peppers, to even out and moderate the heat. While the Parmesan cheese may play a more key role is the other variations of Frittata, it is lost in the bold flavors of sausage and peppers. Overall 3-1/2 stars.

Good, but a few flaws mar final meal

Good, but a few flaws mar final meal

Issues:

  1. 8 minutes was not enough time for the top of the frittata to set in Step 7, but the pasta was fully browned. I would recommend adding the eggs when the pasta is only lightly browned in Step 5/6, which will give more time for the egg to set.
  2. Because I lost some of the liquid egg when I flipped the frittata, the top did not brown to my liking, even after 5 to 6 minutes. I think the fix in issue #1 will rectify the browning issue as well.
  3. I am not sure why, but pouring the egg mixture concentrated the sausage and peppers in the center of the frittata. I would recommend redistributing it in Step 6.
  4. Parmesan cheese is too subtle and is lost among the other bold flavors. I would recommend either more Parmesan or switching to a bolder cheddar cheese.
  5. I think a few scallions or chives would complement that flavors of the existing ingredients.

Rating: 3-1/2 stars.
Cost: $5.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 5:00 PM. Ready at 6:00 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. My descriptions of how I prepare it are given below:

Ingredients:
8 large eggs
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped jarred hot cherry peppers (or 2 tablespoons finely chopped)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage
2 garlic cloves
3 cups water
6 ounces angel hair pasta
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  1. Grate Parmesan cheese until you have 1/2 cup. Coarsely chop 1 to 2 cherry peppers, and chop two tablespoons parsley. Peel 2 cloves of garlic and slice thinly.
  2. Add eggs, Parmesan, olive oil, cherry peppers, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper into a large bowl. Whisk until egg is an even yellow color. Set aside.
  3. Slice the casing on 8 ounces (about 3 sausages) and remove meat from the casing; crumble. Add neat to 10″ non-stick skillet and continue breaking up using a rubber spatula. In 3 to 5 minutes, the sausage will be half-cooked and the fat rendered, add sliced garlic, stir and cook for 30 seconds, then add to bowl with eggs from Step 2.
  4. Wipe out skillet with paper towel, and set over high burner. Add 3 cups water, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Break the pasta in half lengthwise and add to water. Stir occasionally until it comes up to a boil, then continue cooking for 10 to 12 minutes until the water has evaporated and the pasta begins to sizzle.
  5. Turn down burner to medium and continue cooking for 5 to 7 minutes more; swirling pan (but do not stir) and use a rubber spatula to loosen the pasta to prevent the pasta from sticking. Use the rubber spatula to lift and peek under the pasta to check its progress.
  6. When the pasta is lightly browned, use the rubber spatula to push some of the loose pasta up the sides of the skillet, until the entire sides of the pan are covered with pasta. Empty the egg mixture over the pasta, and use tongs to lift some of the loose strands of pasta, but being mindful not to disturb the crispy bottom of the pasta. Ensure that the sausage and peppers are evenly distributed throughout the frittata.
  7. Immediate cover and cook over medium burner for 5 to 8 minutes until the top of the frittata is just set. It is important that the top is set or the egg will spill everywhere.
  8. Slide frittata onto a large plate and invert onto a second plate. Slide back into skillet with the browned side upwards, and use the rubber spatula to tuck the edges into the skillet. Continue to cook for 2 to 4 minutes until the second side is lightly browned.
  9. Remove skillet from burner and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Use your hand or the pan lid to invert the frittata onto cutting board. Slice into wedges and serve.
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4 Responses to Pasta Frittata with Sausage and Hot Peppers

  1. ann hazelett says:

    love your blog & the google entrys for everything ,keep up the good work

  2. Anonymous says:

    I love you

  3. Sue says:

    I made this tonight. I took your advise on the cheese and upped it plus I added about 1/4 cup aged cheddar and I still couldn’t taste the cheese.
    Overall, I’d give it 2 out of 5 stars. It just wasn’t tasty enough. I think maybe the sausage should have been browned at the beginning instead of only partially cooked – more flavor with browning. The pasta was overdone (however, the technique where the pasta is cooked in the pan was pretty cool). The crust was a bit too hard, and my family just didn’t want to eat it.
    Thanks for posting this recipe, though! And thanks for the tips!

  4. Tamra says:

    Thanks for the tips. This came out wonderful! Of course, for my husband, I had to up the spice. But overall it looks AMAZING. (HOW CAN I SEND YOU MY PICS?)

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