10 April 2012

Pancetta and Asparagus Fritatta

I was in charge of the majority of Easter brunch this year since I was off the hook for making much of our Easter dinner the night before. As was the request last year as well, I made my grandma's ricotta cheese pancakes. Someday I might feel generous and give you all that recipe. And remember to take pictures...that day has not come. I did, however, manage to remember to take a couple of shots of our frittata. I started off thinking to make this lovely quiche, care of the talented Sacha over at Eating In or Out. But I thought better of it after the pancake request and the fact that we already had a lot of carb and fat deliciousness happening with the pancakes. 

Well, I didn't skimp on the fat, but at least there weren't any more carbs (I get points for that, right??) I used Cook's Illustrated's Asparagus, Ham, and Gruyere frittata recipe and adapted it so I could use pancetta and more asparagus. Oh, and more pancetta. We had to use pancetta since a certain someone in my family (ahem, Gina...) doesn't like ham. I don't understand it, don't ask. I got the housemade pancetta from Edelweiss, our local German deli, and had her slice it thick. After browning it and allowing it render the fat, I threw in the cut up asparagus. 
Everything's better with bacon! Especially when it sounds fancy.
I let the asparagus cook until it turned bright green, then threw in the eggs, mixed with the shredded gruyere. Since my uncle had set up what I termed a Mobile Mimosa Station out on the back deck and it was finally sunny and somewhat warm in Seattle, I opted to let the frittata bake for 10 minutes in the oven, rather than broiling it. I was also unsure that my mom's nonstick pan could take the broiler. So, I sat in the sun and baked while my frittata sat in the oven and did the same. The only difference here...the frittata came out nice and golden brown, whereas I remained ghostly white (with perhaps a few blotches of red here and there).

Pancetta and Asparagus Frittata
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated

12 large eggs
3 tablespoons cream
Salt and ground black pepper
1 pound asparagus, trimmed of tough ends, spears cut on the bias into 1/4-inch pieces
1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
1/2 lb pancetta, 1/4-inch-thick, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
5 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position; heat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk eggs, cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl until well combined, about 30 seconds. Set eggs aside.
2. Heat pancetta in a 12-inch nonstick ovensafe skillet over medium heat until fat has rendered and beginning to brown (about 4-5 minutes); add asparagus and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and almost tender, about 3 minutes. Add shallot and ham and cook until shallot softens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir Gruyère into eggs; add egg mixture to skillet and cook, using spatula to stir and scrape bottom of skillet, until large curds form and eggs are still very wet, about 1 minute. Shake skillet to distribute eggs evenly; cook without stirring for 30 seconds to let bottom set.
3. Slide skillet into oven* until frittata has risen and surface is puffed and spotty brown, about 10 minutes (eggs will be cooked through). Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes to finish cooking; using spatula, loosen frittata from skillet and slide onto platter or cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve.

*You may consider putting a cookie sheet or foil under the pan, just in case the eggs decide to overflow.


  1. Wow, thanks so much for the shoutout! It looks like you got the same flavors in that beautiful, puffy frittata. Quiche, frittatta, omelette, tortilla -- if it involves eggs, I like it! Glad you had a lovely (and delicious) Easter brunch.

    1. For most people, I probably overcook the eggs, but I know my family and runny eggs will be rejected by all parties (except my dad, but he wasn't there).

      Oh, and just so you know, we also had pineapple with our brunch. :)