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Recipe

Pasta Frittata with Leeks, Arugula, Goat Cheese & Mint

Servings: 6 to 8

I learned to make frittatas at my first cooking job at Al Forno restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island. We always put pasta in those, plus lots of fresh herbs, good cheese, and aromatic veggies, but boiled potatoes are a good sub for the pasta. For this combo, a riff on a recipe I published in my book The Fresh & Green Table, be sure to use peppy mint and full-flavored arugula. Let the frittata cool a bit before slicing and serving—it tastes best warm or at room temperature.

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 3 oz. gemelli or other small to medium pasta (about 3/4 cup)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and light-green parts only, from about 2 large leeks (about 6 oz.)
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 4 oz. baby arugula leaves (about 4 packed cups)
  • 7 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano (about 2 oz.)
  • 4 oz. fresh goat cheese, cold and crumbled
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint

Preparation

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350°F.
  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta well, and transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Season with a big pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper, and toss well.
  • In a medium nonstick ovenproof skillet, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and 1/4 tsp. salt, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Uncover, raise the heat to medium, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks are shrunken and browned in places, another 8 to 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic, and stir until softened and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the arugula, and toss with the leeks until the arugula is wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer the leeks and arugula to the bowl of pasta and toss well; let cool for 10 minutes. Reserve the skillet.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, cream, 1/2 tsp. salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper. Stir in the Parmigiano, goat cheese, and mint. Add the pasta mixture, and stir well to incorporate.
  • Return the skillet to medium-high heat, and add the remaining 1 Tbs. butter and 1 tsp. oil. When the butter has melted and begun to sizzle, pour and scrape all of the pasta-egg mixture into the skillet. Using a silicone spatula, gently stir and move the contents of the pan around so that everything is evenly distributed. Let the pan sit on the heat until the custard is just beginning to set all the way around the edge of the pan, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven, and bake until the frittata is puffed, golden around the edges, and set in the middle, about 25 minutes.
  • Let the frittata cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes. Run a silicone spatula around the edge of the frittata, and shake the pan a bit to dislodge it. Slide the frittata onto a cutting board or serving platter. Let sit for a few more minutes. It will stay warm for a while. Cut into six or eight wedges and serve.

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