Vermicelli frittata with eggplant


1 lb eggplant, trimmed
1 tbsp salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 tbsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into small dice
1/2 cup brine-cured black olives such as gaeta, pitted and cut into slivers

1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1/2 lb vermicelli
4 large eggs, beaten lightly

How to prepare

Cut eggplant into 1/4″ dice and sprinkle with the salt. Drain eggplant, weighted with a plate topped by several cans, in a colander 45 minutes. Rinse eggplant well and squeeze dry by handfuls. Drain eggplant on paper towels. In a heavy skillet cook garlic in 3 tbsp of oil over moderate heat, stirring, until golden. Add bell pepper and cook, covered, until softened. Add eggplant and cook 10 minutes, or until eggplant is tender. Stir in olives and basil. In a kettle of salted boiling water cook vermicelli until al dente and drain. In a large bowl toss vermicelli with eggplant mixture and salt and pepper to taste and cool 2 minutes. Add eggs and combine well. In a 12″ non-stick skillet heat remaining 3 tbsp oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add pasta mixture and with 2 forks spread evenly. Reduce heat to moderate and cook frittata 3 minutes. Shift skillet so that one fourth of frittata is directly over center of burner and cook 1 1/2 minutes. Shift skillet 3 more times, cooking remaining fourths in same manner. Put a heat proof platter over skillet and invert frittata onto it. Slide frittata, browned side up, back into skillet and cook other side in same manner. Slide frittata onto platter and cool to room temperature. Serve frittata cut into wedges. Serves 6 to 8.

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