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Being an Italian American, you can imagine there's never been a shortage of spaghetti (and every other kind of pasta) in my life. One thing that's always bugged me, though, is that there's always leftover noodles — whether you're cooking for two or 20 — and no satisfying way to reheat them.
A few years ago, I caught an episode of Giada DeLaurentiis's cooking show Everyday Italian featuring a frittata of sorts called Pizza di Spaghetti, turning leftover spaghetti from dinner into the next day's brunch. I was in love. It went directly into my mental recipe vault...and then stayed there until my grocery diet experiment gave me a huge lightbulb moment yesterday.
Friday night, I made whole wheat spaghetti with chicken meatballs for girl's night in (trashy movies on the couch) with my neighbors and our dogs (all four of them!).
As delicious as it was, there were about 3 cups of leftover spaghetti, which I lightly tossed in olive oil, threw into a tupperware and right into the fridge, fully knowing it would never get reused...or so I thought.
Yesterday morning, Ginger and I were starving and I wanted to make breakfast at home, so I looked into the fridge, saw the spaghetti, half a dozen eggs still in the carton, half a bag of shredded part-skim Italian cheese blend, and immediately Googled Giada's recipe for Pizza di Spaghetti.
Three eggs went into a bowl with a splash of milk, quickly whisked, then in went the spaghetti and the cheese. The act of trying to coat all the spaghetti with the eggs reminded me of dying your hair at home, trying to coat every strand with goopy goodness, which was a little weird but also hilarious. I grated a bunch of fresh sea salt with dried roasted garlic and some black pepper over the top and we were in business.
We coated the pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil, got it nice and hot, then tossed the mixture right in, waiting until it was good and browned on the bottom (about 5 minutes). Then we slid it onto a plate and tried to figure out the physics of flipping it.
Yup, nice and brown! OK...game time...mist the pan with a bit more olive oil to prevent sticking, then flip...
I don't know why I was surprised that Ginger flipped it perfectly on the first try, given his longtime mastery of homemade omelettes and crepes, but it was impressive. We browned it again (about 3 minutes this time) and grated a bit more sea salt with roasted garlic, black pepper, and parmesan cheese over the top. Then we slid it onto the cutting board...
...let it cool for about one minute, and used the pizza wheel to cut it into quarters. Ta-dah!
We plated it and (unlike Giada's recipe) opted to skip the olives in favor of some marinara sauce, left over from Ginger's late-night calzone run after the Celtics game.
It was yummy, salty, crunchy, eggy deliciousness that you could hold in your hand. I can't wait to make it again — just like a quiche, it seems like a blank canvas for any sort of savory leftovers, veggies, or meat you might have in small quantities in the fridge.
Story & photos: Copyright 2012, Shoestring LLC & Melissa Massello.