Let’s just say that with the little flu Clif and I have “shared” for the past week, cooking has not exactly been inspired at the little house in the big woods. For two or three days, I didn’t feel like eating much of anything: toast, tea, and my standby when I’m sick—Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup, which I will not touch when I’m well. Just as I started to recover, Clif caught what I had, and his normally robust interest in food dropped sharply.
By mid-week, I was done with Chicken Noodle Soup. I was ready for something filling yet comforting and very easy to make. Although I felt better, I wasn’t up to tackling a major cooking project. Clif, who was two days behind me in terms of wellness, was even less motivated to cook.
And who should come to the rescue, just when I needed it most? None other than the inimitable Mark Bittman, a journalist and food writer for the New York Times. (Bittman has recently left the New York Times to be a Fellow at the Union of Concerned Scientists.) On Facebook, bless its heart, I saw Bittman’s recipe for Pasta Frittata, and it was exactly what I wanted—-simple and not too spicy with only a handful of ingredients, all of which I had.
Rather than cutting up spaghetti or linguine, I just used macaroni. No cutting necessary. Because Clif and I still felt under the weather, I made the most basic frittata imaginable—pasta, eggs, butter (olive oil could be used instead), Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper—and I followed Bittman’s instructions for cooking the frittata partly on top of the stove and partly in the oven.
Readers, the frittata came out beautifully. It was just what we wanted. I cut up some of Farmer Kev’s carrots, boiled them, and served them as a side. This was the ultimate comfort food—easy to digest, delicious, and nutritious.
Best of all, like a quiche—surely the frittata’s cousin—it reheated well and was just as good leftover as it was when originally made. Who could ask for anything more?
Well, maybe I could. Next time I make it, I will add this and that to the frittata to make it a more substantial dish. Chicken sausage, sweet red peppers, and mushrooms would all be possibilities. Fresh basil or dried oregano, depending on the season, would also be good additions. I would also try substituting cheddar for the Parmesan in the frittata but still sprinkle Parmesan on top when it came out.
In fact, with the variations, I think this frittata would be good enough for company, either as a light main meal served with a salad and crusty bread or as an appetizer for a party featuring nibbles and nuts.
Either way, this frittata is a definite make again for when we are both feeling better.