More eggs!

Leftover Pasta Frittata

double yolk egg

Double-yolker from Flower!

With 33 eggs collected on Wednesday, a new farm record, I thought I might share another egg recipe! Now is peak egg season- as it gets warmer, the girls will start to get babies on the brain and one by one, they will receive their instructions from the mothership, pick a nest box or a bush and go broody. A broody hen stops laying and just hunkers down with anything egg-like tucked underneath her waiting for that egg-like thing to hatch.  Once a day she’ll get up to relieve herself, have a bite to eat and a stretch and then right back to the nest she’ll go. It is a fascinating transition; you can see it in their eyes. When a hen is broody, you look into her pretty little face and there is nobody home. If you reach underneath her, she puffs up her feathers and growls, sometimes pecking your hand (side note: DON’T try this move with a goose- you might end up with a broken nose!)

Australorps are notorious broodies, which is bad on the one hand because they go for long stretches in the summer without laying. But on the other hand, this is also excellent as they are great mums, so I can hatch eggs in an incubator and then, under cover of night, remove the lone plastic egg she has been brooding so faithfully, replacing it with 20-odd chicks. She wakes up in the morning and thinks, “Wow!  I am so good at this!” And then she’ll raise them expertly for me until they are all grown up and ready to join the flock.

Look –  I guess this should all be a separate blog someday, and I assure you it will. As my friend Janet said to me, “I have never met anyone who could talk about chickens so enthusiastically for so long!” And I think she meant it as a compliment… And with that, my point is, eat the eggs now, while they are flowing free!!  So back to the recipe:

Ingredients (this list is going to be free-form, as this is a real jazz-improv, oh-god-what-am-I-going-to-feed-people-tonight sort of dish – you have to start with the pan you want to use, a non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron that is oven-safe, and then work your quantities to fill that.)

Serves about 4

Using my 25 cm tarte tatin pan:

3-4 cups leftover pasta (I have made this successfully with a range of pastas, from just plain to smoked salmon and squid ink fettuccine in cream sauce to puttanesca)

5-6 eggs, beaten – quantity depending on how much leftover pasta you have

1/2 cup grated grana padano, or other hard cheese

olive oil

1-2 cups chopped vegetables to match the pasta you are using (if your pasta already has a lot of vegetables in it, you can skip this, or add more as you like!)

2 spring onions or a shallot minced fine – you can use garlic if you like, but go easy – personally, I think garlic is kind of weird in eggs

salt and pepper

80 g or so of chèvre, blue cheese, cheddar, brie or whatever other cheese might complement your pasta-veg combo

Preheat a hot griller/broiler with the rack about 5 inches/10-15cm away.

Mix the eggs with salt and pepper and the grated hard cheese.  Add olive oil to coat the bottom of your pan thinly over med-low heat, and sauté your spring onion/shallot until translucent. Add the rest of your vegetables (if you are using tomato, leave this out and add at the end!) and saute until tender.

Transfer to a plate or bowl and allow to cool slightly. Wipe out your pan with a paper towel, adding more oil if you need to and heat over medium heat until the pan is quite hot. Stir vegetables in with the pasta/egg mixture and add to the pan.  Cook, tipping and shaking the pan occasionally. Don’t stir!  And whatever you do, don’t burn! When the eggs are mostly set but still moist (about 5 minutes), top with your tomatoes (if using) and your cheese.

Place under the griller and cook until the eggs is set on the top and the cheese is nicely melted and bubbly and golden. Watch for burning here too! (I just served a burnt one of these last week to the family and it was a very sad occasion.)

If you used non-stick and/or are confident it won’t stick, flip out on to a plate and serve. If you might have stickage, just cut and dish it out. Make a salad too, you will feel better about yourself if you do.

Bon appétit!

Eat more eggs!




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