Pancetta frittata with parmesan cheese

Slow, steady caramelisation of onions in oil and butter is the secret to Neven Maguire's succulent Italian omelette
By Neven Maguire
Pancetta frittata with parmesan cheese
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • 3 Spanish onions, thinly sliced
  • 175 g piece pancetta, cut into small lardons
  • 1 tsp leaves thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 8 large eggs, beaten
  • 50 g parmesan, grated
  • 1 tsp chopped sage
  • lightly dressed green salad, to serve


1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and the butter in a large sauté or frying pan. Add the onions and cook over a fairly high heat, stirring constantly until they begin to soften but not brown, then reduce the heat and continue to cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently so the onions do not stick or brown. They will need about 30 minutes in total to caramelise.

2. About 5 minutes before the end of the onion cooking time, stir in the pancetta, thyme and garlic and continue cooking until the pancetta has begun is sizzle and crisp up. Tip the lot into a large bowl and leave to cool for at least 5 minutes. Season generously.

3. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Add the eggs, Parmesan and sage to the onion mixture and stir well to combine - you should have 1.2 litres of mixture in total. Heat the remaining oil in an ovenproof heavy-based pan that is about 23cm in diameter and deep enough to take the mixture. Swirl to coat the sides of the pan evenly, then pour in the egg mixture and cook for 6-8 minutes over a low heat to set the bottom and sides.

4. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes until the frittata is just set, puffed up and lightly golden.

5. Loosen the sides with a palette knife and cut the frittata into wedges. Serve warm or cold, straight from the pan. Have a separate bowl of salad on the table for guests to help themselves.

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