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Today I wanted to share with you a little tip for leftover spaghetti.
This is a great addition to a Lenten meal if you need a new idea.
When I was a child, my mother followed all the European formal traditions when it came to the structure of our meals.
We always had…
First course (primo) – usually a small portion of soup, macaroni or risotto.
Second course (secondo) – either fish, beef, chicken, veal, or lamb.
Lots of vegetables (contorno)- broccoli rabe, escarole, artichokes, etc.
Salad (insalata) and yes, served AFTER the entree.
Fruit (frutta) to end the meal.
Beverages (bevande) were usually wine or soda for adults and water or juice for the children.
If we had company, some items were added…
Before the meal appetizers – (antipasto) Assorted cheeses, cured meats and pickled vegetables. (Another favorite of mine – sharp provolone and sopressata).
Cheese (formaggio) was added to the fruit course along with roasted nuts.
Dessert (dolce) – pastries and cookies.
Caffe (coffee) both “American” and espresso with anisette and lemon peel.
After dinner drink (digestivo) – I remember my parents serving Fernet and Limoncello.
This is how I thought everyone ate until the ripe old age of seven, when my mother finally let me eat over someones house that wasn’t a relative who followed the same rules she did. I remember I was quite surprised when my friends mother made meatloaf, no first course or sides, except a salad and she served the salad with the main course. I was disappointed and missed my mother’s courses…
So back home to mom …
I don’t think I asked to eat over anyone’s house after that for a very long time. My friends came to our house….
The course I loved the best was always the first course. This course consisted of either a bowl of soup (I love soup), some type of risotto, polenta or macaroni.
One of my favorite primo piatto, was spaghetti pie.
My mother could re-purpose leftovers and you thought you were having a gourmet meal. If we had spaghetti for lunch one day, I knew that spaghetti pie was going to be our first course the next night.
Basically, you take your leftover spaghetti, add eggs, half and half or milk, grated cheese, salt and pepper, fresh parsley or basil (optional) and fry it stove top in a skillet until it’s nice and crispy on both sides.
If we had any meatballs or sausage left from a homemade meat sauce, my mom would break a few pieces into the mix as well.
Diced mozzarella and some ricotta could be added too.
There are so many varieties of spaghetti pie.
It was a spaghetti “frittata” and I wanted to share the basic recipe with you.
The spaghetti pie below was made from leftover tri- color spaghetti that I made with ricotta, mozzarella, lots of onions and fresh basil.
Here is a basic recipe for…
2 – 3 large eggs (depends on egg size and amount of spaghetti)
1/4 cup whole milk or half and half
1/2 cup grated cheese (Parmesan or locatelli)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Leftover spaghetti (with tomato sauce or ricotta and onions, or oil and garlic)
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
Optional additions: parsley, basil, ricotta, mozzarella, onions…anything goes.
In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk or half & half, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Any “optional’ additions.
Add leftover spaghetti and combine well.
In a large skillet, (I use a 10 inch ceramic coated frittata frying pan) heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add spaghetti and egg mixture, spreading evenly and pressing down in the pan with a spatula.
Cook until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Lift to check on the color underneath. When completely satisfied, shake the skillet a little to loosen the pie and “Carefully” invert the pie onto a plate.
Add a little more oil to the pan, and slide mixture back into skillet and cook the other side for 6 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature cut into wedges
COOKS NOTE: After all these years, I decided to treat myself to a frittata pan to make flipping the pie much easier since I make so many frittatas and spaghetti pies.
I bought this pan from Williams Sonoma in 10 inch. (also comes in 8 inch). The skillets can be used separately but are a blessing when it comes to frittata.
The two nonstick pans interlock so you do not have to worry about “your skills and the plate” flipping in perfect harmony.
Back in the day, I have had many frittatas and spaghetti pies slip off the plate and onto the stove top when I couldn’t invert the plate correctly.
Don’t be discouraged if you have trouble flipping the pie at first, it takes a little practice.
But spaghetti pies are great!
Go make one for your family.
Well, I hope I gave you a new idea for lunch or dinner.
Give this recipe a try for something different to serve from your leftover spaghetti and surprise your family.
Until my next post, make every day a celebration!
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