Cookbook Profile

Frittata with Romano Beans,
Prosciutto, and Fontina

Serves 6


Why is a frittata different from other egg dishes? Similar to a Spanish tortilla, it's more of an egg cake than an omelet. Frittata is an ideal lunch or light supper dish. It can easily be made an hour or two ahead, then briefly reheated in the microwave or simply served at room temperature, as is common in Italy.

Growing up, I loved the bias-cut "Italian beans" my mother would buy in boxes from the freezer case. It took a trip to Italy to discover the real thing: fresh romano beans. They have a distinct beany flavor, chewy texture, and when they're young, a lovely, velvety skin that begs to be caressed. They work wonderfully with prosciutto. It's worthwhile to seek out genuine Fontina cheese made in the Val d'Aosta of northern Italy. It's full flavored with rich nuttiness. There are many imitations with similar names, such as Fontinella and Fontal. Fontina-type cheeses are also made in Scandinavia and the United States. I have not found these imitations to compare with the real thing.


1 pound fresh romano beans, cut into 1/2-inch lengths
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1/4 to 1/2 pound prosciutto in one piece, trimmed of excess fat,
     frozen until firm, and cut into small dice
12 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 pound imported Italian Fontina cheese, shredded
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. In a medium pan, precook the beans in boiling water for 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse under cold running water.

2. In a large (12-inch) ovenproof skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and prosciutto and cook over medium heat until lightly browned. Add the reserved beans, then remove the skillet from the heat. In a large bowl, combine the bean mixture with the eggs, along with half of the cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.

3. Preheat the broiler to high. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and warm over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture and cook for about 6 minutes, shaking occasionally, until most of the egg sets (the top should be soft and somewhat liquid). Sprinkle the frittata with the remaining 1/4 pound cheese and place the skillet under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and browned and the eggs are set on top.

4. Cool slightly and then cut into wedges. Serve accompanied by roasted potatoes, if desired.


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by Aliza Green
Running Press
ISBN: 0762419318
Recipe reprinted by permission.





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This page created March 2005