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Spinach-Parmigiano Frittata


Patricia Wells's cooking school at the Hotel Gritti Palace in Venice is part of the hotel's Esperienza Veneziana ( Guests can participate in this week-long cooking school that encourages them to select fresh fish and seasonal vegetables at local markets and ends with a Carnival-inspired masquerade gala dinner. Classes are taught by Gritti Palace chef Daniele Turco and celebrity chefs or famous cookbook authors are invited as guest speakers.

Wine recommendations: The eggs and Parmigiano cheese soften the metallic taste of the spinach. Patricia Wells suggest a pairing with Sauvignon Blanc from Alto Adige or a Pinot Bianco from the Friuli region. Other excellent options are Eugenio Collavini's 2005 Villa Canlungo Collio Pinot Grigio or Volpe Pasini's 2005 Zuc di Volpe Tocai Friulano Colli Orientale del Friuli.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 large eggs, at room temperature
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
1 quart (3 ounces) loosely packed spinach leaves, rinsed, dried and finely chopped
1 cup (4 ounces) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
To make the frittata: Preheat an oven to 400°F. Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, spinach and half the cheese and beat lightly to combine the ingredients.

In a 9-inch ovenproof pan or skillet, heat the oil over moderate heat, swirling the pan to evenly coat the bottom and the sides of the pan. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the frittata mixture. Reduce heat to low and cook slowly, stirring the top two-thirds of the mixture (leaving the bottom part to set, so it doesn't stick) until the eggs have formed small curds and the frittata is brown on the bottom and almost firm in the center, about 4 minutes. The top will still be very soft. With a spatula, lightly loosen the omelet from the edge of the pan, to prevent sticking later on. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Transfer the pan to the preheated oven, placing it on a shelf set about 5 inches from the broiler, so that the frittata cooks without burning. Cook until the frittata browns lightly on top and becomes puffy and firm, about 2 minutes. (Watch the oven carefully: A minute can make the difference between a golden-brown frittata and one's that overly cooked.) Remove the pan from the oven and let cool in the pan for 2 minutes more. Place a large, flat plate over the top of the pan and invert the frittata onto it. Let the frittata cool to room temperature. To serve, cut into wedges and serve with a salad or as a sandwich filling.
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