Fried Pasta: The Key To Hung Over Happiness

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

It happens to all of us. Leftover pasta. It's too dry to do anything with the next day, unless of course you're like my husband who loves leftover pasta so you just give it all to him. After a successful spaghetti dinner the night before, I was left with a whole heap of extra spaghetti and didn't want to do the same marinara sauce or melted butter. I wanted something different, something special.

So I picked up my Molto Italiano cookbook and found exactly what I was looking for: a recipe for day-old pasta. Mario Batali makes even dry, day-old pasta into something special with this super easy and fun fried pasta pancake recipe. His calls for tagliatelle pasta (a bit thicker than spaghetti), but I used the thinner pasta and it worked out just fine. Probably the best part is the sprinkling of granulated sugar. Brought me back to my childhood when my grandma would make a similar treat with pasta and feta cheese with a sprinkling of sugar. Simple enough to make after a night of drinking, quick enough to make for the kids, this is a great recipe to have in your kitchen for that leftover spaghetti!

Spaghetti Pancakes
2 servings leftover spaghetti (tossed in sauce or plain)
2 large eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
sugar (optional)

Place the spaghetti in a large bowl, add the eggs, bread crumbs, and parmigiano, and mix in by hand or with a wooden spoon. Take small handfuls of the pasta mixture and form it into lightly compressed nests about 4 inches in diameter (about the size of a small fry pan). Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over high heat. Carefully place the nests in the hot oil and cook, turning once, until they are golden brown and the edges are crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the sugar if desired and serve immediately.

My Notes:
You can use any kind of cooked pasta for this recipe, but a longer noodle like spaghetti, tagliatelle, even cappelini will work best to create the "nests" to hold the pancake form. Smaller pasta shapes like rotini or manicotti will not hold together and break in the oil.

I made two larger nests out of this recipe; one sweet and one savory. For the sweet one I simply topped with granulated sugar as Batali recommended, and for the savory I added some fresh thyme leaves and dusted with more grated parmesan cheese.

See the finished product:

The key to these pancakes is to have a very hot pan and leave the pasta cakes on each side to really brown up. Don't flip them too often. You should flip it once and then cook the other side and remove. A good, sturdy spatula will be invaluable for this recipe too!


Maria said...

Amazing! I just did eat and got rid of a tremeondous amount of pasta leftovers ! Like Like Like

Mishy said...

Awesome! I seriously make these quite often. Thanks for reading my blog! :)