This Oct. 2 photo shows an Italian sausage frittata in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Sara Moulton. (Sara Moulton via AP)

This Oct. 2 photo shows an Italian sausage frittata in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Sara Moulton. (Sara Moulton via AP)

Flexible Frittata is thick, satisfying omelet

  • By SARA MOULTON
  • Tuesday, October 10, 2017 9:24pm
  • LifeFood

What to do on a busy weeknight when you poke your head into the fridge and discover a variety of souvenirs left over from previous meals — including veggies, protein and starch? Just reach for a carton of eggs and turn the whole thing into a one-skillet meal. Leftovers? Not at all. The Flexible Frittata is a thick, satisfying omelet.

And just as with a French omelet, you can toss almost anything into a frittata. There are only a few rules. The first is to make sure that every ingredient has already been cooked — a frittata spends so little time in the oven that an uncooked piece of meat or a raw vegetable will never be cooked through. Secondly, all the ingredients must be chopped up before they’re added to the frittata so that they can be evenly distributed.

Otherwise, have fun. I’ve specified red bell pepper in this recipe, but you’re welcome to swap in broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, carrots, or mushrooms. Instead of sausage, you can roll with leftover pork chops, steak, rotisserie chicken or shrimp. No cartons of cooked rice sitting in the refrigerator? How about potatoes, pasta, quinoa or farro? Similarly, if you happen to be rich in scraps of various flavorful cheeses, use them to replace the Parmigiano-Reggiano.

And, happily, because most of its parts have been cooked ahead of time, making the frittata takes very little time and effort — about 40 minutes from start to finish, only 20 minutes of which is hands-on. Serve with a simple salad and some crusty bread.

Ultimately, you might decide to add a frittata like this to your weekly line-up. It’s the perfect vehicle for leftovers … but nobody digging into it will be thinking of leftovers.

The Flexible Frittata

Start to finish: 40 minutes (20 minutes active)

Servings: 6 to 8

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

1 1/2 cups chopped red bell pepper

2 cups chopped (halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4-inch thick), cooked Italian sausages

Dozen large eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups cooked rice

1 1/2 ounces grated Parmigiano-Regianno

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and red bell pepper, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pieces are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and the sour cream. Add the rice, cheese, salt and pepper; stir well. When the sausages are browned, pour the egg mixture over the meat, shaking the pan to make sure it is evenly distributed. Cook the frittata until it is just beginning to stick and set up at the edges, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake on the middle shelf until just set, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, preheat the broiler and return the frittata to the middle shelf to brown briefly before serving.

Nutrition information per serving: 370 calories; 227 calories from fat; 25 g fat (9 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 462 mg cholesterol; 697 mg sodium; 14 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 20 g protein.

Sara Moulton is host of public television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals.” She was executive chef at Gourmet magazine for nearly 25 years and spent a decade hosting several Food Network shows, including “Cooking Live.” Her latest cookbook is “HomeCooking 101.”

More in Life

Ward off Halloween’s mystical monsters with these garlic-infused cheesy shells and pepper sauce. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Tasty Halloween

Keep spooky creatures at bay with garlic-infused shells and pepper sauce.

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Let there be lights!

When I stopped in at one of our local stores, I didn’t cringe when I saw all the holiday decorations on display.

Cabbage, potatoes, salmon and an assortment of pantry staples make for a culinary challenge. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Take a culinary pop quiz

Get creative with what’s in your pantry

This undated John E. Thwaites photo, perhaps taken near Seward, shows the S.S. Dora grounded. (Alaska State Library photo collection)
Resilience of the Dora, part 3

Her long career had come to an end at last.

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Sometimes I wonder, who needs who

Dog whispers we are not. Suckers for unconditional love, you bet.

Meredith Harber (courtesy)
Minister’s Message: Don’t let termination dust bring you down

If I’m honest, this time of year is the hardest for me mentally and emotionally.

Pieces hang on display at the Kenai Art Center for the open call show on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘They felt like they could share with us now’

Art center open call offers space for new artists.

The Cosmic Hamlet Entertainment film crew prepares for a new scene to roll on the set of “Bolt from the Blue” at the Kilcher Homestead on Sept. 28. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
‘Bolt from the Blue’ film features Homer

“The Office” star Kate Flannery cast in feature film produced in Homer.

These old-fashioned doughnuts don’t skimp on the fat or sugar. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Memories of old-fashioned doughnuts

My recipe is for old-fashioned doughnuts, and since I make these maybe twice a year, I don’t skimp on the sugar and fat.

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: October is here again

The days are shorter. We are losing nearly six minutes a day. It’s getting colder.

This John E. Thwaites photo shows the S.S. Dora near Sand Point, Alaska. Thwaites sailed as mail clerk on the Dora between at least 1905 and 1912. (Alaska State Library photo collection)
Resilience of the Dora, part 2

The S.S. Dora touched lives on and became part of the history of the Kenai Peninsula and Southcentral Alaska.

Steller Sea Lions can be seen in an enclosure at the Alaska SeaLife Center on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska SeaLife Center to Alaskans: We’re still here for you

You rallied and kept us alive. Today, we’re writing to say thank you.