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Zucchini and Goat Cheese Frittata and The Big Night

Posted in Facts, Features, and recipes

Editor: Joseph Mc Veigh 

copyright, 2008, Maria Liberati,The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm

Hope you are all enjoying your Memorial Day celebrations for those in the US. And if you are in another part of this great big ,wonderful world – I hope you are having a great weekend. Here is a great recipe from one of our favorite movies here at The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm and a great recipe to enjoy this weekend.

Famous Recipes is a new series from- The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm- highlighting a noted food from literature or movies, for being a celebrity favorite, from some famous town or restaurant.  The first recipe is, appropriately, for a breakfast item – frittata. 

Big Night (1996) is a movie about two Italian brothers discovering themselves and each other while trying desperately to keep their restaurant afloat in America, their adopted land.  Starring Tony Shaloub and Stanley Tucci,  the movie ends with the brothers silently sharing a frittata, in an emotional scene that invokes feelings of sadness, friendship, forgiveness, and love.  The fundamental and historic qualities of these emotions are mirrored in the simple and ancient frittata, which one brother makes for the other. 

Frittatas are very similar to omelets but served open-faced and sometimes placed on Italian bread when eaten.  Frittatas are easy to make and extremely versatile; any frittata recipe can be made to suit your personal tastes by adding or removing ingredients.  Even the amount of eggs can be changed to serve more or less people.  The vegetarian frittata recipe here is most commonly associated with the Liguria region of Northern Italy, which has a history of people using goat cheese in their recipes because of the area’s remoteness and the goats’ ability to live on mountainsides. 

Zucchini and Goat Cheese Frittata


10 eggs

½  tsp. salt

1 Tbs. unsalted butter

1 tsp. thyme

2-3 small zucchini, sliced thinly

2 Tbs. oregano leaves

2 tsp. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, plus more for garnish

4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled


  1. Whisk eggs and ½ tsp. salt.
  2. Melt 1 Tbs. butter in pan over medium heat, add zucchini, thyme, and oregano leaves when butter foams and sauté for 30 seconds.  Add oregano, 2 tsp. parsley and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Add eggs, stir in circular motion and lift cooked edges to allow uncooked egg to flow underneath.
  4. Sprinkle cheese on frittata, do not stir, cook 4-5 minutes more.
  5. Place plate over pan and flip pan so that frittata turns over onto the plate.  Then slide the frittata back into the pan, uncooked side down. 
  6. Reduce heat to low and place pan back on stove.  Place plate back on top of the pan and cook, covered, for 3 minutes. 
  7. Remove plate and cook until eggs are set.  Then slide frittata onto plate (some people like to drain frittatas briefly on paper towels before serving). 
  8. Serve with salad and/or Italian bread.
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