Chef Sue Schickler's Pasta Frittata with Asparagus, Feta and Chives 

Ahh, spring! The laying hens are back to work after a somnolent winter. Farmers’ markets, co-ops and roadside stands abound with cartons of eggs in a riot of colors: blue, green, tan and ivory. And after months of hearty soups and stews for dinner and carb-heavy breakfasts, our thoughts turn to lighter fare like quiche, frittata and soufflés. Pick up some of the tender greens now emerging from the fields, or judiciously forage a handful of seasonal ramps and fiddleheads, and have fun blending these golden yolks with spring’s emerald hues. Sue Schickler, executive chef of the luxurious Pitcher Inn in Warren, is renowned for her world-class farm-to-table cuisine. Here she graciously offers a pasta frittata that marries sweet asparagus with salty feta and grassy chives.
July 14, 2016

Instructions

“I made a similar frittata long ago when I had leftover pasta with garlic and olive oil, one of my favorite things to eat,” chef Sue Schickler notes. “For this dish, bigger, fatter asparagus will work well since they’re much easier to slice into thin ribbons than the skinny asparagus. If thin asparagus is all that’s available, it may be better to cut the asparagus in 1-inch lengths and briefly blanch before using.

 

Serves 4
 
8 ounces dry spaghetti
10 cloves garlic, chopped
Pinch of red pepper flakes or ¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
Salt to taste
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
7 eggs, preferably farm-fresh
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces crumbled feta
½ bunch asparagus, peeled then cut into long thin strips with a vegetable peeler
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
Handful of baby arugula
 
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook to al dente.
 
While pasta is cooking, warm the garlic, pepper and salt in the olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick sauté pan until bubbling. Let simmer long enough to soften and cook the garlic but don’t let it brown. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water, and add the pasta to the garlic oil. Toss with the seasoned oil, adding a little of the cooking water to coat the pasta with the garlic sauce. Transfer the pasta to a bowl and set aside.
 
To finish the frittata: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and season with a little salt. Whisk in the tablespoon olive oil then add the feta, asparagus, chives and arugula, along with the cooked pasta, mixing with a soft spatula or your hands to gently combine. Wipe out the nonstick skillet and heat with a little clarified butter, olive oil or a combination of the two over medium heat for a minute or two, then pour in all the ingredients from the bowl. With a spatula, spread out the ingredients and flatten to a uniform disk. Cook over medium heat until the bottom is golden brown, then turn over, either by flipping it over or by turning it over onto the back side of a sheet pan then sliding it back into the pan. Cook until the second side is golden, then slide out onto a platter or cutting board and cut into wedges. Can be served either hot or at room temperature.
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