Honest Fare

Pretty Provisions and Notes from the Kitchen

Leftover Spaghetti Frittata

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Leftover Spaghetti Frittata, Honest Fare by Gabrielle Arnold

There will always be leftover pasta. Take just last night for instance, I made a scallop pasta, and there are leftovers hanging out in the fridge right now. Guess what I’ll be making later…

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I did a ton of cooking for my family when I was in Sag Harbor, NY last week, which I love to do because they’re an extremely enthusiastic bunch when it comes to eating. Okay, most of them are. I say “most of them” because there are children involved. Nuff said, right? For those of you that have children, you’re probably accustomed to all the exceptions and alterations to your cooking. I do not and am not.

So I figured I’d do a pasta dish that everyone could enjoy! Cause everyone loves pasta, right? Wrong. One has food allergies and an aversion to certain textures and anything “chunky.” One will try things but will more than likely dislike them and ask for pizza instead. And one is currently a pescatarian who hates eggs because of one runny egg incident over a year ago.

Look, I get it. We all have our thing, and I sure as hell have a few of my own. But man, kids can be brutal. “This is disgusting (sour face),” my cousin’s son tells me after sampling the couscous. I have to laugh. I’m coming to understand more and more, that things can get really complicated when there are children involved in the dinnertime equation.

The solution: I make spaghetti and red sauce for dinner. Three different kinds of red sauce. One with meatballs, one that has veggies in it and one that comes straight out of a jar. You know, to accommodate everyone. Don’t you just love this generation of children that have a voice? I swear there were like 30 different bowls on this table. But what can I say…everyone was happy and at least all the kids liked the garlic bread!

So that was that. And of course, there was leftover spaghetti.

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The following morning, we’re all sitting around the table when my aunt Loretta (grandmother to the aforementioned children) cheerfully announces that she’s going to make a frittata with the leftover pasta from the night before! Nobody seems interested and I already hear mumours about eggs being “so gross.” But a frittata sounds great to me. And though I’ve never had one with spaghetti per say, I have faith in this woman and I’m sure as hell not about to tackle breakfast after the night’s fiasco. Good luck, Loretta.

frittata-process

But Loretta doesn’t need luck. She’s been feeding this family long enough to know what she can pull off. She tosses the spaghetti in the pan with some olive oil and veggies (zucchini, onion and mushroom), pours over some beaten eggs, sprinkles a little feta on top and lets it cook – first on the stovetop and then in the oven to brown the top.

frittata-slice

It was fantastic. No, it was perfect. The texture of the spaghetti was so good blanketed inside that fluffy egg! And I just think it’s a brilliant use of the leftovers – Loretta, you’ve done it again.

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Recipe

Prep + cook time: 20 minutes. You can use just about any kind of veggie or pasta – whatever you’ve got in the fridge! Because of the nature of the frittata, there are no exact measurements for this recipe. You’ll need to use an oven safe pan (that’s one that does not have any plastic on it) so that you can pop it in the oven to crisp at the end.

You need:

  • Eggs
  • Splash of milk
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Desired veggies (onion, mushroom, zucchini, etc.)
  • Cold, cooked spaghetti
  • Feta cheese

Directions

  1. Set oven broil.
  2. Beat eggs and splash of milk and salt and pepper. Keep in mind that you’ll need to beat up enough eggs (and splash of milk) to cover spaghetti and veggies in your pan. Set aside.
  3. Heat burner to medium heat. Slice up desired veggies and garlic and sauté with olive oil and salt and pepper until they begin to soften slightly. Add your cold pasta and enough additional olive oil so that spaghetti does not stick to pan (you’ll need more olive oil if it’s not a non-stick pan). Add beaten eggs to pan all at once.
  4. Sprinkle feta cheese on top and cook uncovered for a couple minutes and then covered for a couple more. When frittata seems about cooked trough, place the pan in the oven to broil for just a few minutes. This will crisp the top nicely.
  5. Remove from oven and slide/shimmy it out of the pan with the help of a spatula.

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25 Comments

  1. Posted September 3, 2010 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

    It’s been ages since I’ve made a pasta frittata – why so long?? Your photos look amazing and I so want to dig right in.

  2. Posted September 3, 2010 at 2:20 PM | Permalink

    Scallop pasta last night, eh?
    I was eating leftovers alone, but whatever.

  3. gabi
    Posted September 3, 2010 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    date night. sorry ;)

  4. Janet
    Posted September 3, 2010 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    This looks so amazing! I’ll be trying it soon.

    One thing, though, and I don’t mean to be a brat: if the kid eats fish, she’s not a vegetarian. The reason I mention it is that so many people seem to think that’s vegetarians avoid only chicken, pork and beef, and as a vegetarian (not vegan, I eat eggs and milk products) I often have to deal with people saying, “Oh, don’t worry, we have fish!” or something like that. It’s fresh in my mind because just today the caterer at my school was shocked that those of us who were vegetarian couldn’t eat the tuna sandwiches he made. Perhaps if he’d known, he would have made veggie sandwiches or something. I have no problem with people eating fish, but I guess the term should be semi-vegetarian or pescatarian then. Admittedly, I’m probably just cranky because I’m pregnant and trying to eat really well, and I ended up eating cookies for lunch (the chocolate chip was delicious, though :). I couldn’t resist commenting here. I hope you don’t mind–I really love your blog!

  5. Posted September 3, 2010 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

    mmmm that looks lovely, all my favourite things.

  6. gabi
    Posted September 3, 2010 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

    Janet – Ha! You are hilarious. No I don’t mind the “correction” at all. I totally hear you on that. We actually had the conversation with her when I was there. We landed on pescatarian and I’ll be sure to make note of it in the post. I battle with people calling me a vegetarian all the time even though I eat fish and the occasional bite of Jason’s ham sammie, so I totally understand your frustration…from the opposite end anyway. Hate being labeled something I’m not ;)

  7. Posted September 3, 2010 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    Oh, man, cooking for kids can be a daunting experience. I had a family of four stay and each of the children had different food specifications outside of what us adults were eating. One ate no fruit or vegetables. GRROOOSS!! One, as you’ve mentioned, prided herself on trying anything, piled food on her plate, and then found everything “disgusting”. This is worse: a food waster. So, the next night? TACOS!!! (i.e. make the damn food yourself!)

    This frittata looks amazing. My 11 month old will literally eat anything, loves eggs and spaghetti, so I’ll have to whip this up when I’m at a loss for ideas that incorporate a lot of protein. Thanks!

  8. Posted September 5, 2010 at 6:01 AM | Permalink

    I actually never have leftover pasta! That’s because I am greedy and once I start eating pasta, it’s very hard to stop. I would make some just to make this though.

  9. Posted September 5, 2010 at 9:27 PM | Permalink

    This looks amazing! I love the use of feta cheese. Can’t ever go wrong there. I think I saw a recipe similar to this in a recent Cooking Light Mag but it used slightly different ingredients.

    I may try this next weekend!

  10. Katie
    Posted September 6, 2010 at 8:48 AM | Permalink

    This looks wonderful! My Nonna makes something called ‘macaroni pizza’ as an appetizer on holidays and it’s much more similar to this frittata than a pizza (no crust). I’ve never seen a recipe for anything similar to my favorite holiday dish.

    I made pasta with a delicious tomato sauce last night with lots of leftovers, I think I’ll try this tonight!

  11. Posted September 6, 2010 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    i wish all food looked as good as your pictures!

  12. Posted September 7, 2010 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

    this is an incredible and awesome idea! thank you so much for sharing.

  13. Posted September 7, 2010 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

    My mom used to make these all the time and I had completely forgotten about them! (re)inspired!

  14. Posted September 7, 2010 at 8:09 PM | Permalink

    PERFECTION! I needed this in my life. :)

  15. Posted September 8, 2010 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

    What a great story! I once had to plan a menu for a family including 2 young girls, but luckily the meal passed the test. Unfortunately, though, the white chocolate raspberry ice cream sounded good to one and when she tasted it, she had to switch with her dad for the vanilla :) The frittata sounds easy and tasty.

  16. Posted September 8, 2010 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

    Frittatas are so great for using up leftovers. Like Helen, I never have leftover pasta, but I will try to save some next time around just for this.

  17. Posted December 30, 2010 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

    oh my god. oh my god. wow. i want to eat this for breakfast lunch and dinner…

  18. Kelly
    Posted July 13, 2011 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

    Yes, I just love this generation of kids that has a “voice”.
    Hilarious.

    I also loved your “I am not and do not.”

    I don’t, and might, but certainly am of the same mindset about all the accommodations for kids these days. Some bending is needed for sanity, but when does it end?

    Who is in charge here?

    Love the blog. Just discovered.

  19. Claudia
    Posted October 25, 2011 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

    Next time, tell the kids to take a hike. They’re disgusting, not the food!. . .not to mention disrespectful. Makes you seriously wonder about the “adults” that were present who condoned this kind of behavior.
    P.S. Loved the fritata recipe. . .I’ve tried lots of variations. Thanks!

  20. Christine
    Posted March 13, 2012 at 1:23 AM | Permalink

    I’ve been looking for a great leftover spaghetti recipe. I’ll try this, and thank you because it sounds perfect.

  21. maggie
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 10:56 PM | Permalink

    @ janet: with respect to being veggie and people thinking that fish is okay – i’ve found that the best way to explain being veggie (not vegan) is to say that i don’t eat animals. if that doesn’t quite get the message across, i say “if it can run/swim away, i don’t eat it, ” or “if it has to be killed, i don’t eat it.” it sounds simplistic, but a lot of people forget that even if the animal doesn’t have legs, it’s still an animal.

  22. Laura
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 10:59 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the idea! I often do this with Mexican & Chinese leftovers. My family is looking forward to the pasta version…

  23. Tommy
    Posted May 11, 2013 at 5:53 PM | Permalink

    Going to try your idea… frittata has always had a special place in the heart of my wife and I. When we were young and starving we put all we had into a frittata, cooked it to perfection, then “shimmied” it out of the pan, right onto the floor. The dog (a pug named Ebony) was ecstatic, I was incensced, and my darling wife Cricket was beside herself in laughter. It was ham sandwiches that night so many years ago, so I will let you know how this edition comes out. Just found your your blog, and love it!

  24. Margaret
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

    My mom who was born and lived most of her life in Naples, Italy made these all the time when we were growing up. I made a large one for our dinner entree last night, in fact!!! The only difference is I use whole milk mozzarella instead of the feta. Mmm….my family just loves this dish – great comfort food and guests are always amazed that you could “do this” with leftover spaghetti!!!

  25. Tarenella
    Posted February 24, 2014 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    Maggie — my brother’s way of expressing it was, “I do not eat anything with a face!”

    Just made Racheal Ray’s “egg pasta frittata”, but it was lacking something, so I went searching, and yours looks much more on the mark. Will try it the next time I have leftover pasta :)

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