Sunday, March 6, 2022

Half Baked Harvest's Farmhouse Cheddar and Angel Hair Frittata


This frittata has a lot in common with the week I had, it's got a lot going on, and none of it is good.

I wanted to make this Instagram-worthy frittata ever since I first set eyes on it in the Half Baked Harvest Cookbook a few years ago. The colors, the flavors, the way the frittata just jumps off the page with all the lovely garnishes on top. I love eggs, so surely I would love this beautiful frittata, right? 

Well, wrong. 

It did seem like it was meant to be. After all, I had leftover pesto from my egg sammies last week, along with leftover yogurt from Ina's lemon cake I made two weeks ago. In fact, I had a lot of the ingredients just waiting to be used up.

I started to question the ingredients as I was putting the frittata together. One and one half cups yogurt mixed into the eggs? Dill in the same recipe as sun-dried tomatoes and basil pesto? Italian flavors like pesto with sliced avocado? Sharp cheddar cheese instead of Italian cheese? I began to realize this was just a hodge podge of flavors that didn't really seem to go together, but I am in a mood this week, so I went ahead with it all.

I made some substitutions. I subbed the last bits of fettuccine instead of angel hair. I didn't have sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, but I did have sun-dried tomato pesto. I didn't have prosciutto, but I did have shaved ham. I had leftover pancetta so I sauteed that up along with the broccoli and roasted red pepper. I felt fine with all those substitutions.

The frittata cooked beautifully and I set about decorating. I drew the line at the avocado (and we still can't get them here). I used cherry tomatoes, shaved ham, sautéed broccoli, basil pesto and a sprinkle of Parmesan. 

I slice the frittata and notice the pasta is a little dark from the cast iron pan. Not a fan of that. I taste the frittata and it's not inedible, but it's not great. I knew anything tomato-based didn't belong in a cast iron pan (but Tieghan uses one in her cookbook I lament to myself). I taste overwhelming flavors of cheese that don't mingle well with pesto and dill that just doesn't belong. I taste an overwhelming amount of tangy yogurt and wish that I had used milk, half and half, or even cream. I am unimpressed and it occurs to me that some of these gorgeous dishes are made solely to be Instagram-worthy only, even down to the cast iron pan which should never be used with tomato.

Did I know better? Yes, I did. I kinda felt like testing the limits and seeing how things unfolded. Do I believe a frittata can be made Instagram-worthy and still be delicious? Of course! I think it best to find a classic frittata recipe with mild flavors and then decorate the top with ingredients that meld well together. This one missed the mark.

I'm a fan of a total failure. If we're not failing, then we're not learning.


Farmhouse Cheddar and Angel Hair Frittata

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest Cookbook

by Tieghan Gerard

Serves 8

salt and pepper

1/3 pound angel hair pasta

8 large eggs

1-1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 cup olive oil

1 bunch broccoli or broccolini, chopped

1 roasted red bell pepper sliced

1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped

1/4 cup basil pesto, store-bought or homemade

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

6 ounces torn prosciuto

1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced

Preheat the oven to 450F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, dill, and red pepper flakes. Stir in half the cheese.

In a large ovenproof skillet (I used cast iron), heat the olive oil over medium. When it shimmers, add the broccoli or broccolini and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender. Season with salt and black pepper. Add the pasta, roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto and toss to combine. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the skillet, using a spatula to evenly coat the veggies and the pasta. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the eggs begin to set around the edges, then remove the skillet from the heat.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the eggs are just set.

Top the frittata with the cherry tomatoes, proscuitto (or shaved ham), avocado, broccoli or broccolini, pesto, etc. Have fun with the decorating. Serve immediately! 


  1. Well I think your photo is beautiful and I am glad it was edible (your words!). I tried to make a Tieghan recipe with chicken and Dijon and right now I can't remeber it, but it didn;t tunr out. I wasn;t going to post it because it was a fail but maybe I ought to,

  2. I fail from time to time, but never like that feeling especially for something I could've avoided. Instagram ready is one thing, but a fool-proof recipe is a different matter — which I value highly. Tieghan recipes seem to have higher fail rates and little things that throw you off than others.

  3. Sorry this was such a fail but LOVE the honest review. I do think Tieghan sometimes embellishes her recipes for instagram appeal in ways that don't always make them taste so good.


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