Frittata is a versatile dish and you can make it in less than 20 minutes start to finish. Use whatever ingredients you want to make it your own. Here I use some of my favorites. Browned potatoes and onions are the base. Fresh mozzarella, roasted sausage, grated pecorino, and chopped parsley enhance the egg mixture.
Make yours vegetarian. Saute a couple of your favorite veggies to bring out their flavor. Roasted asparagus or sauteed zucchini work well too. Let the sauteed vegetables cool before adding them to egg mixture. Prosciutto or ham are good substitutes for the roasted sausage. Fontina or another soft cheese can replace the mozzarella. Or just use grated pecorino, parmigiano or grana padano.
Serve frittata for brunch or dinner. A side fruit or green salad completes the plate. Frittata is a nice addition to an antipasti platter too. However you serve your frittata make sure you have enough left over so you can enjoy frittata panini (sandwiches) later on.
I use a well-seasoned 11-inch cast iron pan for my 10 egg frittata. Non-stick saute pans work well too. For my smaller 9-inch cast iron pan I use 6 or 8 eggs. If you are anxious about flipping the frittata to cook the second side use an oven-proof pan and put it in the oven to finish cooking.
The golden crust is nutty and the frittata is cooked through but still a moist on the inside. Enjoy a mouthful of flavor in every bite.
Fans who took my tour a few months ago called to see if I would do a tour of North Beach for out-of-town guests this Saturday, April 28 at 11:00 a.m.
Do you want to join us?
Get to know my my favorite restaurants, bakeries, food shops, art galleries and North Beach history as we take a 90-minute stroll through the Village on a delightful spring day. We’ll eat together at one of my favorite caffes. Enjoy antipasti, focaccia and a sampler of 3 Tuscan pastas with a glass of a special Chianti. Then we’ll head to another nearby caffe for espresso and the best cannoli or tiramisu in North Beach, your choice.
Tour with food–$50 per person. Tour without food–$25 per person. You can pay by cash or check at the start of the tour.
The farmers markets are overflowing with early spring vegetables so I just had to make Pasta Primavera, farfalle (bowtie) pasta with just-arrived asparagus, fava beans and sweet peas.
Pasta Primavera is a classic Italian-American dish concocted by Sirio Maccioni and made famous at his Le Cirque restaurant in New York City in the 70s.
I adapted the classic recipe to lighten up the cheesy sauce. Sirio used spaghetti but today I chose farfalle to ensure that every forkful has some pasta and vegetables for a full flavor explosion in every bite.
This is a glorious bowl of springtime. The sweet fresh vegetables are bathed in the light cream sauce and their fresh taste shines through. The farfalle absorb the sauce full of spring vegetable flavor. The ricotta salata grated on top ties the dish together and kicks it up a notch.
I had an ulterior motive for cooking up the dish today. I’m making Pasta Primavera at a demonstration and tasting for 50 San Jose fans later this week. I wanted to make sure I still had it right this season.
Here’s the Farfalle with Spring Vegetables recipe just in case you get inspired at the market. Use my spring veggie trio or use whatever spring vegetables turn you on. Just don’t use more than 3 vegetables or the flavors will get muddled.
You can make the primavera sauce in the time that it takes to cook the pasta. Buon appetito.
Nuok is an Italian travel, art and food site. A recent post by Alessandra Maffei who lives in Roma celebrates North Beach.
“The air was soft, the stars so fine, the promise of every cobbled alley so great that I thought I was in a dream.” is Alessandra’s North Beach memory.
Gianni was her online tour guide as she discovered the Italian treasures in our Village. She loved all that North Beach has to offer and here’s what she said about Gianni.
Se avete voglia di scoprire dove la gente del posto scova le migliori prelibatezze made in Italy abbiamo un nome per voi: Gianni Mola, chef di origini italiane e profondo conoscitore sia della nostra cucina che dei segreti gastronomici di North Beach, famoso per il suo show online e le sue visite guidate in giro per il quartiere.
Insieme a Gianni scoprirete la focaccia della Liguria Bakery, i cannoli del Cavalli Café e la pizza di Baonecci; comprerete la migliore carne al Little City Market di Stockton Street, per poi recarvi allo Union Street Produce per trovare tutto l’occorrente per cucinare un perfetto piatto italiano.
Oh, don’t speak Italian? Here’s my attempt to translate for you.
If you want to discover where the locals seek out the best made in Italy delicacies we have a name for you: Gianni Mola, chef and connoisseur of the Italian cuisine that is the secret of our food in North Beach, famous for his show online and his tours around the neighborhood.
Together with Gianni discover the focaccia from Liguria Bakery, cannoli from Cavalli Café and Baonecci’s pizza; the best meat you can buy at Little City Market on Stockton Street, before heading to Union Street Produce to find everything you need to cook a perfect Italian dish.
The other night my Emerald Tablet friends and I put together a tasty family-style dinner at North Beach’s Vicoletto, the Calabrian restaurant on Green. We were talking about a Gianni’s North Beach cooking demonstration and tasting at their gallery and creative learning space. They don’t have a full kitchen so it would be a challenge.
Then it hit me. When I’m in Bologna I always stop at least once in at an enoteca (wine bar} for a plate of assorted Italian cured meats and cheeses. Your group huddles around a high table and nibbles on a plate full of distinctive tastes and textures. I pair Prosecco or a sparkling rose with this spuntino (little snack) that will tide us over until dinner much later in the evening.
We decided it would be fun to make believe we’re in Emilia-Romagna. We could host a salumi and cheese tasting with wine pairings at the gallery. I’ll source all of the meats, cheeses and wines right here in North Beach and demonstrate how to make some of my antipasti treats.
I’m excited about Bay Area artisan salumi and cheeses. We’ll taste the best of Italia and America. Will the local products stand up to their Italian cousins? Gianni’s North Beach most popular antipasti treats–vinegar peppers, giardiniera, and celery mostarda (chutney) pictured above–or other Gianni goodies will be on the antipasti platter. Maybe I’ll make my toy-box tomato focaccia too.
Learn where to buy the best in the Village. See how easy it is to put together a spectacular antipasti platter at home for a cocktail party or as the first-course for a home-cooked meal. Watch me make a few of my most popular antipasti dishes and take some with you to enjoy at home. Once you’ve tasted them, with my easy recipes you’ll be able to make them for yourself.
Let me know if this is an event that you’d attend. If there’s enough interest we’ll set a date at North Beach’s Emerald Tablet. As a bonus you’ll see the restored Song of Pulcinella mural there.
Here’s a 4-course Easter dinner suggestion. I even threw in Italian wine pairings.
Follow my easy video demonstrations and text recipes (a fan suggests I call these “videocipes” or “recideos”) and make dinner for yourself. Bake the 2 traditional Easter Pies the day before and let them sit overnight. They’ll taste better after all the flavors meld. Make the soup the day before. It tastes best the next day too.
That’s 3 courses ready to go. You can make the main course–roasted herb-infused pork with 2 delicious sides–on Easter in just a couple of hours including cooking time.
Don’t forget to pick up your Columba Pasquale the traditional Easter bread in the shape of a dove. They’re at every North Beach caffe, deli and bakery. Hopefully you’ll find one near you. Buona Pasqua! Happy Easter!
A slice of Pizza Rustica the savory cheese, salumi and ricotta deep-dish pie. A dry Prosecco pairs well.