Just when you think you've had every kind of frittata in the egg playbook, along comes yet another good one to tackle. This noodle version has ingredients that are standard issue at the supermarket these days, yet I had never had them combined in quite this way.
The pasta invoked is a Chinese egg noodle, on the short side and at a medium width instead of the wide egg noodles typically used for kugels and stroganoff. Look for them in the Asian foods section of the international aisle. They give the frittata just enough heft to be deserving of the dinner hour. Seasoned sun-dried tomatoes and dollops of tangy tomato paste pop up in every other bite, along with scallions and pan-crisped spinach.
Cooked in a small skillet, it's a down-to-earth, slightly surprising meal built for two. Serve with sauteed broccoli rabe or an arugula salad.
Yield: 2 servings
Salt 2½ ounces dried egg noodles (see note) 2 to 3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil 3½ ounces fresh spinach 3 scallions 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil Spanish smoked paprika (sweet or hot) 2 tablespoons tomato paste, preferably double-concentrated 5 large eggs Freshly ground black pepper 2 to 3 tablespoons creme fraîche (optional) Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add a pinch of salt and then the egg noodles; cook according to the package directions (al dente). Drain and place in a mixing bowl.
Meanwhile, drain, then coarsely chop the sun-dried tomatoes and the spinach, keeping them separate. Trim the scallions, then cut the white and green parts on the diagonal into thin slices.
Heat half the oil in an 8-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the sun-dried tomatoes, then sprinkle them lightly with the smoked paprika. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring once or twice, then stir in 1 tablespoon of the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the contents of the skillet to the noodles and toss to incorporate.
Return the skillet to the stove top (over medium heat). Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil, then add the chopped spinach and stir-fry it just until wilted. Transfer the sun-dried tomato/noodle mixture into the skillet, along with the scallions. Cook for 2 minutes, without stirring, until heated through.
While that's cooking, beat the eggs in the now-empty mixing bowl; season lightly with salt and pepper. Pour into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes, undisturbed, then transfer to the oven. Dollop the creme fraiche, if using, around the surface, along with the remaining tomato paste. Bake (middle rack) for 5 to 7 minutes, or until puffed and just set.
Coarsely chop the parsley and scatter it over the top. Serve warm at the table, cutting it into wedges.
Note: We used Blue Dragon brand egg noodle nests, which are available on the international aisle of larger supermarkets, including Whole Foods. But any medium-width dried egg noodles will do.
Nutrition information per serving: 470 calories, 25 g protein, 39 g carbohydrates, 25 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 495 mg cholesterol, 460 mg sodium, 5 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar.
Source: Adapted from "Pimp My Noodles: Turn Instant Noodles and Ramen Into Fabulous Feasts!" by Kathy Kordalis.