You see that cast iron skillet in the picture above? Many delicious pans of my mom’s homemade cornbread and fried potatoes were cooked in that skillet when I was growing up. Her cornbread and fried potatoes were THE best I’ve ever had. Cornbread just isn’t cornbread unless it’s made in a cast iron skillet. Oh yeah, and it can’t be sweet. Not for this Texas gal!
My mom doesn’t really do much cooking these days since it’s just her and my dad, so she’s been getting rid of some of her cookware. I was thrilled to get one of her cast ion skillets. Yes, I know you can buy them new, but there’s just something really neat about having a pan that my mom cooked with. It’s been well used and loved.
Other than a few pans of cornbread I made when I was a kid, I’d never really cooked in a cast iron pan before. There are some learning curves, let me tell you. I may or may not have burned my wrist already, but I’m enjoying learning to use and care for this pan. It hadn’t been used for quite a while, so I needed to re-season it before using. I’ve had a tiny bit of sticking, but nothing too major. I believe that will get better the more I use it.
I’ve made eggs with hash browns in this pan several times now, but this Pancetta and Pea Frittata is the first frittata I’ve made in it. Local Yocal, where we purchase our grass-fed beef and pasture raised chicken, just recently started selling pancetta. I’d never tried pancetta before, so I was pretty excited to have some. It always looks so tasty on TV, doesn’t it? It’s not something I will buy much of, but it is delicious!
The saltiness of the pancetta and sweet flavor of the peas is an incredibly delicious combination in this frittata. I’m not a huge fan of peas, but my husband loves them. Even though they aren’t my favorite vegetable, I actually really like them in this recipe!
Pancetta and Pea Frittata
- 4 oz . pancetta , cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
- 8 large eggs
- 1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (or to taste), plus black pepper
Adjust the oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 400° F.
In a 10-inch oven proof skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta, and cook stirring occasionally until golden and crispy. With a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta and place onto a paper towel lined plate. Add the chopped onion to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4-5 minutes.
Meanwhile, lightly beat the eggs with the heavy cream, parsley, sea salt and pepper to taste.
Add the pancetta back to the skillet, stir in the peas, then spread the ingredients out evenly in the pan with a spatula. Pour the egg mixture over it and without stirring, cook until the edges have started to set, between 1-3 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the center has just set, about 10-12 minutes.
If using a non-stick skillet, slide or invert gently onto a large plate, let cool for a few minutes, then serve. If using cast iron, just cut and serve slices directly from the pan.