Rafanata – horseradish and pecorino frittata

Rafanata – horseradish and pecorino tortilla


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Named after its main flavour rafano (which means horseradish in Italian), the rafanata is a horseradish- and pecorino-flavoured frittata-style dish from the Italian region of Basilicata. Particularly common in the province of Matera, the egg-based snack is made during the winter months when fresh horseradish root is in season. The dish is also associated with carnival which takes place in February.

Using mashed instead of sliced potatoes (like the Spanish tortilla) gives it a wonderfully light and fluffy texture. It might sound like a strange combination but it really is delicious, and proves that Italian cuisine is far more varied than most of us realise.

Preheat a grill to a medium-high heat. Use a fork to fluff up the mashed potato so you get a nice even mixture. The mash can still be a bit warm but not too hot, otherwise it will scramble the egg
Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk. Add the potato, Pecorino and horseradish then season with plenty of salt and pepper
Place a non-stick, ovenproof frying pan over a medium-high heat and drizzle with a little olive oil
Pour in the mixture and cook for 5 minutes or so
Place under the grill to finish of the frittata. It will puff up as it cooks, but deflate once it cools a little – don't worry, this is meant to happen
Insert a knife into the centre to check the egg is cooked all the way through then serve either warm or chilled
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