Saturday, April 28, 2007

Squishy no more.

Leftover pasta, in my experience, is always something of an issue. It turns either stiff or soggy in the fridge, and it's not easy to warm up, particularly if you're microwave-less, like I am. So what to do if you accidentally cook too much spaghetti or penne on a given night? Toss it? Well, that seems wasteful. Eat the extra? Eh, not so good for the waistline.

How about this: save it, and make a frittata later in the week. No, really! Frittatas (a Spanish dish of baked eggs) make great, fast meals, and are a fabulous alternative to their French cousins, omelets. They take very little skill, and even less time.

Here's how: when you do make too much pasta (or when you decide to make extra and save it), just let it cool a bit and then put it in a Ziploc with a little bit of the pasta cooking water to help keep things moist. It should keep for a few days without getting too mushy.

Then, make this! The recipe doubles and triples quite easily; this version serves one generously, two with a big salad on the side.

Fritatta Margherita

3 large eggs
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 white onion, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, minced
2 small plum tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup leftover cooked pasta, cold
1/4 cup basil, cut into thin strips
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and sour cream. Set aside.

In a six-inch, oven-proof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute briefly, until just translucent. Add the garlic and saute a few moments longer, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and continue to saute until the skins begin to pull away from the flesh of the tomatoes.

Add the pasta, distributing it evenly on top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle the basil evenly on top of the pasta. Reduce the heat to low, then pour the egg mixture over the contents of the skillet. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Allow the egg to cook until just set on the bottom, about two minutes. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top of the egg, and put the skillet in the oven. Bake until the top of the frittata just begins to turn golden brown.

Using a silicon spatula, coax the frittata gently from the skillet and onto a plate. If serving more than one, slice like a pie. Serve immediately.

3 comments:

Louisa Edwards said...

This is a fantastic idea, and I will definitely try it. One way I try to avoid the leftover noodle problem is to use the kind of pasta that keeps fairly well--I've had good lock with orzo; really any of the smaller, bite-size pastas.

Elizabeth said...

Definitely a good thing to do with leftover spaghetti--and very Italian! "Tortilla" is the word used in Spain for what Italians call frittate (plural form of noun).

Meg Blocker said...

See, I learn something new every day!

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