Lidia Bastianich’s Italian Brunch!

Lidia Bastianich’s Italian Brunch!



In the Kitchen.

Lidia Bastianich shares her delicious Italian brunch recipes and tells us about her new children’s book, “Nonna Tell Me a Story: Lidia’s Egg-Citing Farm Adventure.”


Ricotta Frittata

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 ripe large tomato, slicked 1/2 inch thick
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 large eggs
8 large basil leaves, shredded
1/2 cup Grana Padano, grated
6 tablespoons fresh ricotta, drained

1. Preheat the over to 375° F. Heat oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and dry the tomato slices on paper towels; season with salt. Push the onion slices on one layer in the cleared space. Sear the tomato, turning once until the slices soften just at the edges, about 30 seconds per side. Remove the tomatoes to a plate and let the onions continue to cook while you prepare the eggs.

2. In a bowl, beat the eggs with the salt. Stir in basil and 1/4 cup of the grated cheese until well mixed. Spread the onion slices in an even layer in the bottom of the skillet and pour the eggs on top. Reduce heat to medium-low and let cook until the eggs begin to set around the edges of the pan, about 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Arrange tomato slices on top of the frittata and drop tablespoons of the ricotta between the tomato slices. Sprinkle all over with the remaining grated cheese. Bake frittata until set all the way through and the top is golden, about 18 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the skillet and invert onto a plate or cutting board. Serve in wedges, warm or at room temperature.

Roman “Egg Drop” Soup

8 cups defatted homemade chicken stock
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
4 cups packed spinach leaves, shredded (or baby spinach leaves)
4 large eggs
1/3 cup Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper

1. In a medium pot, bring the stock to a simmer with 1 teaspoon salt. Once the stock is simmering, add spinach and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, grated cheese, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and some freshly ground black pepper to taste.

3. Once spinach is tender, add about 1/3 of the egg mixture to the soup, while continuously whisking, to make shreds of eggs. Add the remaining eggs in 2 more batches, letting the soup return to a boil between additions. Once all of the eggs have been added, bring soup to a final boil and use the whisk to break up any large clusters of eggs. Serve soup with additional grated cheese.

Ricotta Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
8 ounces fresh ricotta, drained
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1/2 lemon

2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Zest of other 1/2 lemon, plus 1/4 cup lemon juice

1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl, and set aside.

2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

3. Cream the sugar and butter in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, and crack in the eggs on at a time, beating well between additions. Add the ricotta, vanilla, and lemon zest, and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture, and beat on low until just combined, but do not overmix.

4. Drop the dough in heaping rounded tablespoons onto the baking sheets. Place in the oven, and bake, rotating pans halfway through the baking time (about 9 to 10 minutes), until the cookies are puffed, golden, and cooked all the way through, about 18 to 20 minutes total. Remove from the oven, and cool on wire racks.

5. When the cookies are completely cool, make the glaze. In a bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and zest to make a smooth glaze. Adjust the consistency with a little water or more confectioners’ sugar to make the glaze thick enough to stick to the cookies when dipped. Hold each cookie with two fingers, then dip the top of the cookies in the glaze and let dry on the racks until all are done. Let dry for 2 hours before storing.