5 Aug 2012

Frittata failure

Groovy background from Frangipani Fabrics.

Do you have a dish that is your nemesis - that you just cannot make? That you collect recipes for, confident that this will be the one that conquers your fears, overcomes the black hole of past botched attempts, and delivers success? The dish probably isn't difficult - no fancy-schmancy thing - and gosh-dammit, if you can roast a chook and bake a layered pudding and tease out pastry and simmer up a batch of pasta sauce, then why can't you do this?!

Hello, my name is E, and I am a Frittata Failure.

Yes, frittata, or vegie slice, or whatever you call that oh-so-simple thing that is basically eggs and vegies cooked into a slab or round. But if it's so simple, why can't I get it?

Previous attempts have been soggy, or have taken hours to cook (maybe a slight exaggeration, but definitely much longer than specified in the recipe).

But bravely, or foolishly, I keep coming back for another attempt at mastering the frittata - though I'd be happy just to get it 'right', let alone 'master' it. I'm determined - a slice of frittata should be a quick, tasty and healthy solution to getting dinner on the table.

Making a frittata is easy, I think; it's once it goes in the oven that it seems to go wrong for me. This time, scared of yet another soggy slow-cooking mess, I tried a recipe where you made individual frittatas in a texas muffin tin - I figured the smaller mass of each one would cook through better and quicker. However, the fear of sogginess runs deep, and I over-compensated - and overcooked these by about five minutes - and they stuck to the tin and became sort of spongy. Better than soggy, I guess. Not quite as dismal a failure as previous attempts - in fact, it gives me hope to try it again. Better luck next time perhaps; keep your fingers crossed.

So sometimes a meal comes together effortlessly, wonderfully; sometimes there is that ordinariness that comes from just wanting to getting food in the belly; and then there is another 'frittata failure'.

What are you hopeless at cooking?

Pumpkin and spinach frittatas
Adapted from a Woman's Day magazine.
  • Preheat oven to 200. Finely cube 500 grams of pumpkin (I instead used sweet potato), lightly spray or coat with oil, then roast until just soft (probably 20-30 minutes); once done reduce oven to 180.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together 4 eggs, 2 egg whites, 125 grams ricotta, 4 finely chopped green onions (I instead used 2 baby leeks, as they were all I had), some S&P.
  • Grease a 6-hole texas muffin tin. Divide the cooked pumpkin and 20-30 grams of torn-up baby spinach leaves into the holes (I also added about 4 small mushrooms that I'd cut to the same size of the sweet potato dice, because I'm on a bit of a mushroom-kick at the moment).
  • Then pour over egg mixture (I then also sprinkled over some grated parmesan and panko crumbs for some crunch).
  • Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden and set. Cool slightly before removing from tin (and before they weld themselves to the tin).


  1. Hi E, I am ashamed to admit my nemesis is porridge. Yep, I can do sourdough, cakes, roasts, pasta and curry from scratch but not porridge. It turns bitter and is either too dry or too wet. I have resigned to doing it in the microwave sometimes which goes against my grain slightly. By the way, your frittata looks good :)

    1. Looks can sometimes be deceiving! But thank you. I think perhaps you have to be Scottish to make proper porridge, so don't be too harsh on yourself.

  2. Have only made frittata once, would like to make it more regularly as it is such a good way to use up produce.

    My nemesis is generally anything that involves caramel, I usually burn it (but I do blame this partially on the stove. i don't think your frittatas look too bad!

    1. You're a braver soul than me. I'm too scared to go anywhere near caramel - I'm sure i would burn the house down. And that is a very good strategy, blaming the stove - i myself usually blame the recipe.

      i'm going to have a frittata for dinner very soon, so i shall see if they have improved with age ;-)

  3. Mine is chocolate fondant cake.. I know it is suppose to be slightly gooey in the middle but the whole cake turns too goo. Doona Hay has a great recipe but I never get the timing in the oven correct. Still taste instensely fabulous though :-) CC

  4. Chocolate 'goo' still sounds good to me!


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