Fact: There’s no better way to stretch leftovers than by making a frittata. There’s no crust to fuss with, the eggs can handle almost any savory inclusion and the frittata itself can be enjoyed hot or at room temperature.
The mozzarella meatball frittata in Secrets of Great Second Meals: Flexible Modern Recipes That Value Time and Limit Waste came into existence after author Sara Dickerman served pasta and meatballs to her friends: “We have a regular movie night...and I often serve meatballs, since grown-ups and kids like them with equal verve,” Dickerman explains. “I always make extra meatballs, in part because they taste even better the next day. Last time we slurped spaghetti and watched some Hitchcock, I got to thinking about a meatball-studded frittata.”
We love the way the pockets of mozzarella puff and bubble dramatically, although you could easily swap in another leftover cheese and meat or vegetable (think Gruyère and bacon or feta and squash).
Gwyneth Paltrow’s Easy Frittata
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 large eggs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons slivered basil leaves
½ pound meatballs (cut in half if more than 1 inch in diameter)
4 ounces mozzarella, preferably fresh, cut into ½-inch chunks
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. In a large ovenproof and preferably nonstick skillet, heat ½ tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the tomato juices are viscous and glossy, about 2 minutes. Pour the tomatoes onto a plate and use a silicone spatula to scrape any sticky tomato juices onto the plate as well.
3. Whisk the eggs until well blended, then mix in the Parmesan and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Heat the remaining ½ tablespoon olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Place the meatballs in the pan, cut sides down if they have been halved. Evenly sprinkle in the tomatoes. Pour in the egg mixture, using a fork to evenly redistribute the tomatoes or basil if necessary. Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly across the top. Cook until the edge of the frittata starts to set, then use a silicone spatula to pull the cooked egg away from the side of the pan a bit, letting the raw egg flow behind it. Repeat a few times and cook until the eggs are almost set around the perimeter of the pan, about 5 minutes.
5. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the eggs are just set in the center and the top is dappled with toasty brown patches, about 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 1 minute to help set the top and to foster bubbly, toasted cheese bites.
6. Remove the skillet from the oven. The frittata is easiest to remove from the pan after resting for 5 minutes. Slide the spatula underneath to loosen, then cover the skillet with a large plate or pizza pan and invert the frittata onto it. Flip the frittata one more time onto a serving plate or cutting board so it is right side up.