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Frittata di riso

(Rice omelette) (serves 4 or more)
The frittata di riso (rice omelette) comes from the Italians' ability to repurpose leftovers in admirable ways and this ‘cucina povera’ (humble cuisine) recipe is a great way of re-using rice, pasta and leftover meat and vegetables. This is my go-to recipe for picnics, when visiting friends or sometimes just for me – with a fried egg on the top!
It is moist, plump and crispy. This recipe produces a crispy crusted rice omelette with a creamy core and spots of oozing cheese. In Italy, it’s rare to find a restaurant that offers frittata on its menu; it’s the quintessential home food, it is usually made on the spur of the moment or when the fridge is bare!
You can add just about anything to it but our favourite is this one. Hot or cold – it’s easy to make and delicious!
300 grams risotto rice (cooked and cooled or leftover risotto)
25 grams Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated.
200 grams provolone or mozzarella cheese, cut into 1 cm cubes.
8 – 12 eggs (or more if you want it more fluffy. My auntie Lucia uses 14 eggs – but then she gets them fresh from the farm every day!).
2 Garlic cloves – crushed
Hand full of chopped parsley.
20 ml Terre Di San Vito extra virgin olive oil
Black pepper, finely ground
Preparing the dish:
Cook and cool the rice.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until light and fluffy.
Add to the egg mixture the chopped mozzarella, parmesan, crushed garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly to combine.
In a large frying pan, add the olive oil so it covers the bottom of the pan and heat gently - do not let it burn.
Once the oil is hot, add the rice mixture. Ensure you spread it evenly (this mixture fills my frying pan).
Reduce the heat and cook on medium for approx. 8-10 minutes.
Keep poking a fork into the frittata to allow the heat to travel through and help with an even cook.
Use a spatula to lift the sides of the frittata from the pan and check that the bottom is not starting to burn—that’s important.
As soon as you see that the liquid has been absorbed from the top of the mixture, take the pan off the heat, half cover it with a lid, and leave it that way for 30 seconds. Shake the pan to be sure that it’s not sticking to the bottom. If it does stick, gently detach it with a spatula. The frittata can now be turned over.
If you want to use the traditional method for flipping the frittata over, you’ll need to be careful and quick. Using a flat dish that is larger than the pan—or you can use a flat lid—place one hand firmly on top of the lid and the other hand on the handle, and quickly turn the whole arrangement upside down. Immediately slide the frittata—the golden-brown side will now appear on top—back into the pan to finish cooking for the last few minutes – until the underside has also turned golden.
Buon appetito!
Top tips:
Add more cheese for greater ooze!
When stored in the fridge, be sure to put your frittata in an airtight plastic container, as water and humidity can ruin the taste.
Any greens or veggies you add into the frittata should first be sautéed, in order to eliminate most of their water.
Cooked ham or bacon can be added too.
Serve with a bottle of our fabulous Terre Di San Vito Apenest white wine.