Penne Frittata and Cooking with Cast Iron

When I first ran across this recipe on Martha Stewart Living, the ingredients and ease of recipe is what caught my eye.  I had no idea what Frittata was.

Just in case you don’t know either, I’ll share a little info I collected:

  • Frittata is an Italian dish, similar to an omelet.  Unlike an omelet, the egg mixture is not folded over.  Most frittatas are started on the stove and finish cooking in the oven.
  • The traditional Italian frittata was an important meal during observation of Lent, and not seved with meats, but would have cheeses and vegetables added.
  • Often served at room temperature
  • Makes a great meal for the nights that you think you have nothing to make for dinner, you can add just about anything to a frittata.
  • Great meal fast, any time of day; breakfast, lunch or dinner
  • Cook frittata in a heavy, flat-bottomed skillet, preferably a cast-iron skillet
  • it’s pronounced Free-taaa-taaa

I had a hard time deciding between my LeCreuset skillet and my grandma’s cast-iron skillet………I went with Grandmas, it was the perfect size for this dish.

Cast-Iron cooking tips:

  • Always preheat your cast-iron pan before adding the food you want to cook.
  • If food sticks to your cast-iron pan, your pan is NOT seasoned right and you need will need to re-season it. If it’s seasoned correctly food WILL NOT stick!
  • Never put cast-iron in the dishwasher
  • Cleaning is easy if you ‘boil’ it out – 3/4 full hot water, let it boil and it cleans itself soap necessary and because  cast iron gets above 400 degrees its totally sanitized

sources:  Simple Plate , What’s Cooking America and Source Geek

Like I said, Frittata is great for when you have a fridge full of odds and ends and don’t know what to cook.  You can throw just about anything in for a quick and tasty meal any time of day!  It was a huge hit and SO easy to make!

Penne Frittata

Basil and Penne Frittata

Basil and Penne Frittata


  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used 2% because that’s all we had)
  • 1/2 c small curd cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups cooked and drained penne rigate pasta (from 7 ounces dry)
  • 1/8 cup chopped basil (I didn’t have fresh, but 1/4 cup fresh would be better if you have it)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Cook and drain pasta
  3. Whisk together eggs, milk, cheeses, salt and pepper. Stir in cooked pasta and basil.
  4. Heat a 10 inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat on stove. Add oil; swirl to coat bottom and sides of skillet.
  5. Pour in egg mixture and cook until edges are just beginning to set (about 2-3 min)
  6. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are completely set, 10-12 mins.
  7. Invert onto a plate and re-invert onto a serving dish. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges.


Serve with fruit for breakfast or brunch, or tomato soup, asparagus and a rustic Italian bread for lunch or dinner.

Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart Living.

more by Cheryl »

Cheryl Sousan

A self-proclaimed neat freak, Cheryl chronicles her journey through homemaking on her blog,, where she shares recipes, tutorials, crafting and her ever-growing love for photography. This St. Louis mom juggles her passion for life, her daughters and her tiger-loving husband, all while her obsession with tidiness cleans up the trail blazed behind her. Google+


  1. I’ve made egg frittatas before but never one with pasta! Intriguing!

  2. I never knew wat frittata was either. Going to try this recipe. Thanks for dropping some more worthwhile cooking knowledge on me.

  3. I never knew wat frittata was either. Going to try this recipe. Thanks for dropping some more worthwhile cooking knowledge on me. I really love your blog!

  4. Looks great, Cheryl! And thanks for the cast iron tips.

  5. I have never had a Free Taaa Taaa…but is sounds and LOOKS AMAZING…and sort of fancy.

    Love it!! Thanks so much for the cast iron cooking tips, too!!

  6. I’ve never made a frittata before either, but this one looks and sounds yummy. Now I just need a cast iron skillet. 🙁

  7. Looks delicious! I wouldn’t have thought to add pasta to it.

  8. Ymmy Cheryl!! I’m going to have to try that. I love the jewelry. So pretty!


  9. Great tips for cast-iron newbies!

  10. Great post! I love my cast iron!! But, my food always sticks. I know I need to give my pieces some attention as they are in need of a good cleaning and re-seasoning. Got any tips or instructions for how to do the job right?

    • I have a friend who plans to write about this sometime soon, but for now, this should help

      season a cast iron pan by rubbing it with a very thin coat of neutral food-grade oil Rub the oil off with paper towels or a cotton cloth. The pan will look like there is no oil left on the surface.

      Place the cast iron pan, upside down, in the oven, with a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom to catch any drips. Heat the pan for 30 minutes in a 450 to 500 degree F. oven. Turn off the oven, and let the pan cool to room temperature in the oven. Repeating this process 3 to 4 times.

      • I’m going to give a try! Thank you for sharing!

        (I’m a newbie to your blog and am really enjoying searching your blog and following your posts.)

  11. I love frittatas! Delicious, and easier than an omelet!

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  13. Looks absolutely delish!

  14. Love frittata! Thanks for the tips about cast iron too; I got a skillet for Christmas and haven’t used it yet!

  15. I’ve made Frittata on a few occasions, usually when it involved feeding a crowd for brunch. Never before have I seen a recipe for one with penne pasta in it. What a great idea. My sister loves Frittata as well so I’m sending her your recipe.

    Good choice to use your cast iron skillet. Love mine and some foods just taste a lot better when cooked in these skillets.

  16. I thought it was called a “fri tata”, so thank you for the educating! 🙂 I never would have thought about adding pasta, this looks really yummy!

  17. Great tips, this looks incredibly delicious!

  18. you are such the rock star!!!

    do you know i cook with a cast iron e.v.e.r.y.d.a.y!!! yep, i sure do! i used to hate them. but my hubs being from the true south convinced me to try it. everything taste better in a cast iron skillet. everything.

    and i love a frittata! this is a double whammy post!!! your pictures as usual look fantastic.

    it’s been a long time since i had one with pasta, but it looks wonderful!

    i’ll be trying this next week!



  19. Frittatas are my go-to meal when I don’t know what to make… I just empty out the fridge and throw in whatever I have on hand. This one looks fabulous!

  20. Oh, that sounds delicious. I like frittatas, but I’ve never made them in my cast iron. I’m going to have to try that. Also, thanks for the “boiling” tip.

  21. I love frittatas….especially ones with leftover pasta like yours! You have me ready for dinner at 4:20, Cheryl!

  22. I think putting the asparagus IN this fritatta would be awesome!!! XO, Pinky

  23. OMW that looks good! I call dips on all of the crunchy edges please 😉

  24. I am a great fan of fritattas. It is awesome that you can toss in virtually anything & end up with a great meal. Makes for great leftovers & lunch box meals too! Yours with the penne is a great idea that I have not seen before.

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  32. Love cast iron cooking! It’s just the best. And I can’t wait to try this recipe. Look divine!

  33. First may I say, that is one GORGEOUS picture. Love it!
    Second, I never would have thought to put penne pasta in a Frittata. So creative!

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  37. Looks great Cheryl, I love pasta and eggs! You’re right it’s great to make when you don’t have a plan for dinner.

  38. Perfect comfort food and great tips on the cast iron! The dish is book marker!

  39. And….did you know that anything you cook in cast iron will increase the iron content of the food-sometimes 2-3 times the original amount, a great health benefit, unless of course you have that disease with too much iron in the blood!

  40. Thanks for the new idea! I love making frittatas for dinner, nice warm and filling

  41. Adding pasta to a frittata is a neat idea. I’ll need to try this

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  43. I just made this Frittata, but used only three eggs and a smaller cast-iron. It worked just as well!
    I also used Rosemary instead of Basil, and added some yummy bacon!

    It was so delicious! My family loved it as well, I will definitely be making this again. 🙂

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  45. oh yum my sunday brunch is baking right now thnk u

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