This dish, like many of my creations, came together as a result of a rather bare pantry and a hungry family.
It was a busy weeknight and as I scanned the fridge for inspiration, I found a half pint of cherry tomatoes (which normally live outside the fridge; this meant that they were past their prime), some eggs and a half container of mascarpone cheese left from a dessert recipe.
Frittata had potential, but I really didn’t have the time or energy to fiddle with it on the stove, tip it, watch it, flip it. It was that kind of evening. Then inspiration struck — I could bake the frittata in a pie pan.
Well, this was the cat’s pajamas, and I may never do a stovetop frittata again unless I’m in a real hurry. It took longer to cook, but involved almost no work from the cook.
The trick to this was roasting the tomatoes first, which delivered a sweet, slightly charred flavor that was just terrific. You could do this with any chopped vegetable — onions, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, olives, greens, etc., or simply use leftover cooked veggies in this preparation.
To add color and a bit of freshness, I managed to scrounge a few basil leaves from my nearly dead summer basil plant (I harvested the leaves last week and made a mammoth batch of pesto, but a few robust stalks still sprouted). I used clumps of mascarpone because that’s what I had on hand, but any cheese from mozzarella to cheddar to blue would work. It’s a matter of personal preference and kitchen inventory.
Baked Tricolore Frittata
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon oil
- Generous sprinkles of salt and pepper
- 5 eggs
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese
- A handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
Place the tomatoes in a glass pie pan and toss them with oil, salt and pepper.
Roast the tomatoes in a 400-degree oven until slightly charred and falling apart, about 20-30 minutes.
While the tomatoes roast, whip the eggs in a small bowl and add some salt and pepper.
Remove the tomatoes from the oven, stir and make sure the pan is still coated with a film of oil — if not, spray or drizzle a bit.
Pour the egg mixture into the pie pan, being sure to distribute the tomatoes evenly.
Scoop small spoonfuls of mascarpone cheese over the eggs, evenly distributed, and sprinkle some basil leaves on top.
Place the frittata in the oven and bake until done, about 15 minutes.
Serve hot or at room temperature.