Leek and Ricotta Frittata Recipe

Leek and Ricotta Frittata

Food never tastes as good as when you are really hungry. And although the temptation is strong to just grab and scarf down the first thing that crosses your path (tasty or nasty, edible or otherwise), it’s a much better move to resist the urge, and pay attention : what does your stomach yearn for, what appeals to you the most, what would really fill that void, hit the spot?

If you do that, and if the demands of the grumbling monster inside can be reasonably met (I mean, sure, I want caviar too), this is when food tastes best.

When I found myself in that situation the other night, I opened the fridge, and spotted a bunch of leeks that needed to be used up (mmmm, leeks!), the opened package of ricotta (oooh, ricotta!) and a few eggs (yum, eggs!). I put a hand on my stomach and murmured : “Ricotta and Leek Frittata? How does that sound?”. A long, guttural growl of approbation echoed. I immediately got to work.

Sure enough, instant gratification it is not – but do you really see me running down the street to Le Mac Do? However, I have also found that once I let the monster know it shall be fed, once it sees I am indeed busying myself to do just that, it usually calms down and keeps quiet until the food is ready.

In passing, frittata means omelette in Italian (the stress is on the first syllable). I’m sure some of you can tell me more about the real way the Italians do it, but what is commonly called frittata outside of Italy is an oven-baked omelette : you usually start it in an oven-proof skillet, and then you flip it and put it in the warm oven to finish cooking. I skipped the skillet step, and I guess what I made could be considered a crustless quiche, but calling it a frittata is much more fun.

Besides, who could possibly resist the pleasure of saying…

La frittata è fatta!” *

* An expression which means – I am told – “that’s torn it!”, “the damage is done”.

Leek and Ricotta Frittata

– 5 medium leeks
– fresh herbs of your choice (parsley, chives, …)
– 4 eggs
– 100 g ricotta
– salt, pepper
– piment d’espelette or red pepper flakes

(Serves 2.)

Wash the leeks, discard the ends and the tough green leaves, and chop into small logs. Heat up a little olive oil in a large skillet, add the leeks, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, covered, until softened, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Line the bottom of a small cake or tart pan with a circle of parchment paper and grease it lightly.

While the leeks cook, rinse the fresh herbs under cold water, dry them with a paper towel and chop them. Beat the eggs with the ricotta in a medium mixing bowl. Add the chopped herbs, a little salt and pepper, and piment d’espelette to taste.

When the leeks are cooked, add them to the egg mixture, and stir to combine well. Pour in the pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a little puffy and golden, but not completely set.

Cut in two, and enjoy with a slice of bread. This can be served hot right out of the oven, but also cold, or at room temperature, as part of a brunch buffet.

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  • Damian

    I recently read in The Economist (or maybe The Guardian?) that a recent study proved that hunger enhances your ability to discern flavors. The researchers put a drop of salty fluid, a drop of sweet fluid and a drop of bitter fluid into glasses of water. The test subjects were able to detect the sweet and salty flavors better before they had eaten than after they had eaten.

    Interestingly enough, hunger doesn’t have any effect on the ability to detect bitterness, probably because poisons are generally bitter and human taste buds evolved to detect bitterness no matter how satiated you may be.

  • Lunch is overdue, and this sounds fantastic! I have an eerily similar post on the same theme today…

  • Alistair


    I made a double batch yesterday to take to a Birthday celebration.
    They came out beautifully, and I got more than a few compliments.
    (I cut circles of parchment paper to fit the bottoms of the pans, that, and greasing allowed the frittatas to unmold perfectly and be presented on a plate).

    Thanks for great recipe.

  • Damian – That is fascinating, thanks! I’ll try to dig out that article!

    Jackie – Indeed, another instance of synchronicity! :)

    Alistair – I’m delighted you liked it too, thanks for reporting back! And thanks for the parchment paper tip, I’ve added it to the recipe.

  • I could pair just about anything (aside from, say, used band-aids or super glue) with ricotta and eat the finished product for hours. This was so good. It also fulfilled my obsession w/ having traditional breakfast foods at non-traditional times of day. Like 11pm, etc. Yum. Pair this w/ a glass of champagne and it’s the perfect Sunday morning breakfast, etc.

  • K. A. Ricchini

    A basic Frittata isn’t that complex, at least not in Northern Italy. Simply drop one egg in a bowl, add a liberal amount of milk(cover the whole egg), toss in a hand full of parmesan, and a small handful of breadcrumbs. Play with it to get the consistency and texture you prefer. Additions like leeks, tomatoes or whatever are good too.

  • Chloé

    I did it and my italian roommate told me that my french omelette was good! It was really funny.

    Thanks for this recipe!

  • KT

    Thanks for a lovely recipe. Quick, easy and good!

  • Hi – I found myself in the same position of having these ingredients in my fridge as well, so I made this frittata this morning :o) It looks delicious, but a peculiar thing happened – one side of the frittata has puffed up nicely while the other side has remained somewhat flat. In essence, there is a huge bump in the finished product. Does this have to do with uneven distribution of ingredients, or moreso with the uneven distribution of heat in my oven (which is definitely a possibility)? Thanks for the recipe!

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