This week’s batch of circulars provided scant options for cheap meat. It hurts, but I’m getting used to the fact that eating cheap means fewer meat-based meals. So I delved deeper into the circular and came across a 3 pound bag of yellow onions for $1.99.
Onions alone can’t make a meal, but mixed with a perennially cheap and delicious protein—eggs at $2.39 a dozen, they make a delicious frittata. A frittata is like an omelet, but it sounds much sexier. And the filling is cooked into the egg rather than folded in the middle. The only other ingredients I needed were salt, pepper, butter, and parmesan cheese—a 5 oz. block was on sale for $2.99 (To save money, buy cheese in blocks. Do you really need to pay extra for someone else to grate it for you?).
I got my recipe from a 27-year-old copy of Marcella Hazan’s classic Essentials of Italian Cooking (you can buy a new copy here). Since I only used a fraction of my onions, eggs and parmesan, the total cost of the frittata was about $3.50. It serves 4, so my cost per person was 88 cents. Not bad for a delicious dinner.
Marcella’s timeless, quick and easy recipe is after the break:
Frittata con le cipolle
4 cups onion sliced very thin
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill
2 tbsp. butter
1. Put the onions, olive oil, and some salt into a large sauté pan, turn the heat on to low, and cover the pan. Cook until the onions wilt and become greatly diminished in bulk, then uncover and continue cooking until the onions become colored a rich golden brown.
2. Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the onions, grated Parmesan, salt, and a few grindings of pepper. When adding the onions, drain them of oil by using a slotted spoon or spatula to transfer them from the pan. Mix thoroughly. Melt the butter in the pan, and when it begins to foam, add the egg mixture.
3. Turn on your broiler.
4. Turn the heat down to very low, when the eggs have set and thickened and only the surface is runny, run the skillet under the broiler for a few seconds. Take it out as soon as the face of the frittata sets, before it becomes browned.
5. Slice and serve.