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Frittata with Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Spinach

Italian Food and Flavours

Frittata with Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Spinach 

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A frittata or omelette makes a super speedy and nutritious lunch or supper dish, especially when you add some healthy veggies such as broccoli and spinach. At this time of year in Italian Ortos the purple sprouting broccoli is ready to pick.  Broccoli (which comes from the Itallian word brocco meaning branch or arm) was initially cultivated by the Romans. Broccoli has been grown in the UK and the US since the early 18th century, although the purple sprouting variety has only recently been popular. The plant produces lots of little heads of broccoli  rather than one large one which you maybe more used to and the slender, fine stalks should be chopped and eaten too.  Of course, if you don’t have access to purple sprouting, then normal broccoli is fine.

 

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The Italian frittata is versatile, in that it can be eaten warm or cold and one can change the ingredients to suit you or to suit what is in your fridge or veggie plot.  My Le Marche friends and neighbours give me plenty of organic, free range eggs so this is a lunchtime staple for us.

Broccoli and in particular sprouting broccoli is a super food and is rich in iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and sulphur.

Fresh Broccoli is a storehouse of many phyto-nutrients such as thiocyanates, indoles, sulforaphane, isothiocyanates and flavonoids like beta-carotene cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zea-xanthin. Studies have shown that these compounds by modifying positive signaling at molecular receptor levels help protect from prostate, colon, urinary bladder, pancreatic, and breast cancers.Further, it contains very good amounts of another anti-oxidant vitamin, vitamin-A. 100 g fresh head provides 623 IU or 21 % of recommended daily levels. Together with other pro-vitamins like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and zea-xanthin, vitamin A helps maintain integrity of skin and mucus membranes. Vitamin A is essential for healthy eye-sight and helps prevent from macular degeneration of the retina in the elderly population.

 

Frittata with Purple Sprouting Broccoli
A simple and nutritious lunchtime or supper dish which can be adapted according to the season or what is in your fridge
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Ingredients
  1. 5 or 6 eggs
  2. A couple of garlic cloves, chopped finely
  3. A glug of extra virgin olive oil
  4. Handful of purple sprouting broccoli
  5. Handful of spinach leaves
  6. Grated parmigiano and pecorino cheese
  7. Salt and pepper
  8. Handful of frozen prawns (optional)
Instructions
  1. Prepare the broccoli by finely chopping the stalks and steaming the stalks and the florets briefly.
  2. Roughly chop the spinach and the garlic.
  3. Gently heat the oil in an omelette pan and saute the garlic and the spinach.
  4. Whisk the eggs with some salt, pepper and grated cheese to taste.
  5. Pour the eggs over the spinach and garlic , then add the broccoli.
  6. Put a lid on the pan and cook over a very low hob for about 15 minutes, until the eggs have set.
  7. Do not turn over.
  8. Take off the heat and leave for a few minutes before removing from the pan.
Cooking Holidays Italy http://www.italianfoodandflavours.com/
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Salsicce con i broccoli

Italian Food and Flavours

 

Sausage with broccoli
Serves 4
Not perhaps the most obvious combination for a braised dish but with a good quality Italian sausage and fresh broccoli this is a fairly simple but very satisfying winter main course.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1kg good quality Italian sausage
  2. chopped onion
  3. 500g broccoli, cut into flowerettes
  4. cold water
  5. 3/4 tbs passata
  6. 50g pancetta, diced
  7. salt and pepper
  8. olive oil
  9. (garlic)
Instructions
  1. Fry the pancetta in a little oil until it starts to render its fat. Cut half the sausages from their skins and crumble the meat, add this to the pan and continue to fry until the pancetta has given up most of its fat but before it crisps up, by this time, about 10 minutes, the sausage meat should have taken on a little colour. You may want to drain off the excess fat at this stage. Traditionally this dish has no garlic but I like to add a chopped clove at this point and cook for a minute or too extra.
  2. Add the broccoli and remaining sausage cut into chunks, give the pan a stir to mix everything up then add the passata and enough water to cover the ingredients. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes or so at a reasonable boil. Keep an eye on it and if the liquid is evaporating too soon cover, or add a little more water, or both. The final sauce should be slightly thickened.
  3. Serve hot, either on its own which would be the Italian way, or with potatoes or rice
Notes
  1. Italian sausages are made exclusively of meat and so respond well to this type of dish. Poorer quality sausages will tend to dissipate into a soup so ensure you use the real thing!
Adapted from La Cucina delle Marche
Adapted from La Cucina delle Marche
Cooking Holidays Italy http://www.italianfoodandflavours.com/
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