Here is the Tortino di Zucchine or Zucchini Omelet.
- 3tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 5 tbs milk – whole not low-fat
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
- ¼ cup flour – sifted to avoid lumps
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs – or more if necessary
- 4 eggs
- nutmeg – to taste
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese – or Romano, if you prefer
- 10 fresh basil leaves – torn
- 2 lbs skinny zucchini – sliced very thin
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- In a skillet over moderate heat, warm 2 tablespoons (or a little more, if necessary) of the olive oil.
- Add the zucchini, in portions without crowding, and fry until slightly golden. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
- In a bowl, whisk together, the eggs and milk until well blended and smooth.
- Add the nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste, whisking constantly. Gradually add the sifted flour, still stirring or whisking.
- When all well combined, add the zucchini and the freshly grated cheese of your choice and mix well. Stir in the torn basil leaves.
- Oil an 8-inch ring mold with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and coat the entire mold with breadcrumbs. Pour in the zucchini-egg mixture and bake 40-45 minutes (I checked at 35 minutes) or until the top is slightly golden and it is set.
- Run a knife around the edge and the center ring and invert onto a serving platter.
- Serve your Tortino di Zucchine warm and plain as a side dish or dress it up with your favorite tomato sauce poured lightly over the top and present with a simple salad for a light lunch or brunch.
La matta cena was what was referred to as a light meal or a snack early on in this Tuscan area or something simple and light with which to entertain friends or company during the time before the supper hour. We now call these dishes piatti di primi or middle dishes and many of these dishes are frittatas. Whether plain or mixed with onions or vegetables or herbs or sausage, the beauty of the frittata is the infinite variety and the simplicity. So, mix up a batch of eggs, add some milk and seasonings and let your imagination run wild.