'ITALIANS never throw away food,' says an Italian friend. 'What they don't eat, they give to the chickens.' This week we publish the Italian solution to leftover risotto: a rice frittata. It is probably a northern dish, says my friend; in the south it might be a spaghetti frittata.

One might expect, as winner of the last of our series on recipes discovered on holiday, that Michael Dahill of Mere, Wiltshire, would have discovered this frittata in Milan or Turin. That would have been too easy. Rather, he struck up a correspondence with an Italian family in America. The mother was actually Austrian and had mastered Italian cookery for her husband. She is a certain Mrs Ciervo of Long Island, New York, and here follows her recipe. Mr Dahill will receive copies of the food-lover guides to Paris and France by Patricia Wells.

Mrs Ciervo's Rice Frittata

Serves 4

Ingredients: 8oz/225g cooked rice

1-2 eggs to bind mixture

salt and ground black pepper

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

3-4oz/75-110g freshly grated


handful of chopped fresh parsley

Preparation: Mix ingredients. If mixture is too liquid, add breadcrumbs; if too dry, add another egg. Heat a heavy frying pan over a medium flame and lightly coat with olive oil, or a mixture of olive oil and butter. Turn mixture into pan and press down slightly with a spatula. Reduce heat and continue cooking for about 20 minutes. To turn it over, cover the pan with a large plate and flip frittata on to it, then slide it back in the pan, uncooked side down. Cook another 20 minutes, until golden. Serve hot or cold, sliced as a cake.

Our second winner, Janet Zoro of Gloucester, submits the simplest of recipes for 'delicious green stemmy stuff'. It is a samphire salad she discovered in Castellorizo, in the remote Dodecanese. Simply blanch the samphire so it is bright green with a bit of bite. Mix with sliced tomatoes and juicy black olives, toss with lemon and olive oil and finish with black pepper and fresh Greek oregano.

Next week, our new series begins with how to dispose of the summer glut of tomatoes. The prize will be a copy of Entertaining all'Italiana by Anna del Conte. Send your recipe, stating the source if not original, to Emily Green, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.