February 29, 2024 | Rome, Italy

Fried humility

By |2018-03-21T18:45:51+01:00August 31st, 2011|"In Provincia"|
A glug of milk and slow cooking provide the fluffy texture.

t’s not a pizza even though it can look just as yummy. It’s not as thick as a Spanish tortilla and not as runny as a French omelet, but tastes as good as either. It’s simple to make and beats the heat. It’s a frittata.

During the dogs days of the Italian summer (which extend well into September), all of Italy lives on tomatoes, gelato and fruit salad.

And on the frittata, the ultimate Italian fast food.

Don’t underestimate it, since even this humble family recipe has its secrets. Organic eggs, fresh vegetables and freshly ground cheese provide a delicate yet rich flavor. A glug of milk and slow cooking gives the dish its fluffy texture.

In a matter of minutes, without suffering from any undue oven heat, you have a wholesome meal just by adding a side of salad and crusty bread.

Spinach frittata (serves 4)


  • 1/2 kg (1 lb.) spinach, blanched, dried and roughly chopped.

  • 5 eggs.

  • 3 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese.

  • 100 gr. (3 oz) soft cheese like caciotta or mozzarella, sliced.

  • 2 tablespoons of milk.

  • Salt and black pepper to taste.


    — Beat the eggs with the Parmesan and milk, season. Add the chopped spinach and, if time allows, let them soak in the egg mixture for 15 minutes.

    — Warm a tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. The pan has to be the smallest possible to hold the egg mixture so that the frittata will be at least 1.5 cm (2/3 of an inch) thick.

    — Add the egg mixture, cover and cook over very low heat until the frittata is almost set.

    — At this point use the lid to flip the frittata upside down and slide it back into the frying pan, top with the sliced cheese and cover again. Cook for a further few minutes until dry. Serve warm or at room temperature.

  • About the Author:

    Letizia Mattiacci wrote the "In Provincia" column from 2011 through 2019.