Saturday, 19 October 2013

The Best Prawn and Parsley Frittata

Yesterday, at my school prize-giving, our Head Girl (renowned for her speech-making) delivered a speech about success, about its definition. Success, at least to me, does not necessarily mean driving a fancy car, nor even gaining a prize at prize-giving. As my head girl put it, success is 'setting out to do something, and then doing it'. Achieving your goals. But then going beyond them, doing what you never thought you could do. Surprising yourself.

As I sat in that assembly listening to her inspire the audience, and even now as I write this, I reflected on some very very good marks for some coursework I received earlier in the day. When my teacher told me my result - ok, I can't resist: 100%!! - I stared at him, disbelieving. "Are you sure?" I asked. How is that even possible? He reasoned "You did everything I asked you to. You deserve it". It took me a while to believe him. When I handed my project in, all that was running through my head was endless little things I hadn't got around to finishing, or that could be improved, if only I had more time. But as it dawned on me, and a smile slid across my face, a small voice whispered in my head, "I guess all that hard work paid off".

You know what I said before, about surprising yourself? Well, I was surprised that I even decided to make this fittata, let alone eat it. When I was younger, our family would spend (it seemed) whole summers eating frittata for lunch. Bless my Mum, she's a great cook, but sitting down to a slice of crumbly pastry with a rich, eggy filling of varying flavors that often got a bit wearisome, to the point where I had had enough. I refused to eat them, I would make myself lunch if I needed to, but anything but that. Since then I have given frittatas, quiches and all equivalents a wide berth, until now. This dish is not how I remember frittatas as a kid, far from it. With no crumbly/dry/soggy crust in sight, this delicious version, courtesy of 'Jamie's Italy' is more like a glorified omelette. For me this is a step, however small, back into the frittata camp, and a successful one at that.


  • The recipe states that it serves two, but you could easily make three or four light meals out of a single recipe.
  • Jamie writes 'The… key to this is to use plenty of parsley. Feel free to make smaller or bigger frittatas - most of the good ones I've eaten have ended up 2.5 cm/1 inch thick. Any thinner and it's not a frittata. Any thicker and I think it gets frumpy. You can serve frittatas cold as an antipasto or hot as a snack, or even instead of a pasta course… PS This recipe also works brilliantly with crab or lobster.'

La Migliore Frittata di Gamberetti e Prezzemolo

The Best Prawn and Parsley Frittata
Serves 2

6 large eggs, preferably organic
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a handful of fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
zest of 1 lemon
juice of ¼ of a lemon
1 heaped Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
180 g/6½ oz fresh peeled prawns
olive oil
 a good knob of butter
½ a dried chilli, crumbled

 Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7.In a bowl, whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper, then add the parsley, lemon zest and juice, and the Parmesan. Roughly chop half the prawns, leaving  the rest whole, and add all of them to the bowl. In a small heavy non-stick ovenproof pan, heat the butter with a good splash of oil until it begins to foam, then add all the egg mixture. Slowly move a spoon around the eggs for about a minute on a medium heat, then put the pan into the oven. (You often get frittatas that are very well cooked, but I'd rather have it in a hot oven for a shorter amount of time so there's a little color on top and the middle's cooked but not absolutely mullered.) Cook for 4 to 5 minutes till slightly golden - it will rise slightly and will have a delicious lightness to it. Sprinkle over the chilli and slide it on to a board. Great served with a simple rocket salad, good bread and a glass of wine.

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