Conversation with a friend from Puglia always turn to food. Her face is aglow as she tells you what she made over the weekend. She is so expressive you feel as though you were sitting round the table with her. She kisses the tips of her fingers and mimics her husband's enthusiastic response to her culinary masterpieces. She makes it sound so easy and quick. She's always got a pack of frozen prawns in the freezer, she's always got cheese from Puglia ready grated and frozen in little bags, she's always got lots of oregano, the proper sort from her grandma's garden, and lots of olives and capers.
Yesterday she reeled off in quick succession the amazing meals she had produced over the weekend. I could hardly keep up. Then as an after thought she told me that on Sunday evening she had made the most wonderful frittata with three sad-looking courgettes, some eggs that needed eating and other bits and bobs. Her husband's reaction was as complimentary as ever, squisito, delizioso, ottimo.
So for supper last night I looked in the fridge and I also had three sad-looking courgettes and three eggs so I tried to make frittata alla Pugliese.
All over the world housewives are busy cracking eggs into bowls, whisking them up and making them into omelettes, pancakes, tortillas, frittatas. Omelettes are considered an important test of culinary skill. You have to be quick and flippy.
Frittatas on the other hand are slow and leisurely. There is time to do other things while they are cooking, like prepare the salad and a bowl of peaches with lemon. Turn the heat down low and cover the pan and allow at least half an hour.
3 courgettes, washed and diced
3 eggs beaten
1 small glass of milk
1 heaped tbps of flour
salt and pepper to taste
Gently cook the courgettes in a little butter and olive oil until slightly golden.
Mix together the eggs, flour, milk like you would for a pancake and stir in the grated cheese. Season to taste.
Add the egg mixture to the pan and stir gently so the courgettes are evenly distributed.
Cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat down low.
When the underside is cooked and golden slide the frittata onto a plate and flip back into the pan.
Cover the pan and let cook until puffed up and cooked through.
The advantage of frittata is that it is nice cold the next day, whereas omelette is not.
ps. my husband's verdict, no enthusiastic kissing of his fingertips, he said it tasted just like my other frittatas and omelettes. But it did have a taste of Puglia to me.