Winter comfort food at it’s best
Italian cooking is all about using fresh, seasonal produce and most importantly not letting anything go to waste. Left over bread is used in panzanella salads or grated into fine breadcrumbs for cotolette, left over ragu and risotto are used for arancini and left over bones are used for broths. Italians have been reinventing the wheel when it comes to left overs for centuries. One timeless dish to use up leftovers is a Frittata di Spaghetti, yes on the rare occasion that there is left over pasta from dinner, a simple frittata goes a long way in incorporating the flavours from last night’s meal into a delightful dish for today. One can pretty much put anything in a frittata, and any type of pasta can be used – but spaghetti is a favourite of mine. Pasta frittata’s can also include pasta dishes made with any type of sauce, but this one that I’ve made is from a sauce free pasta dish, think aglio olio or Cacio e Pepe. Using the pasta with these simple ingredients, transforms cold left overs into a carbonara style omelette.
250gm cooked Barilla spaghetti or if starting from scratch dried Barilla spaghetti
70 gm pancetta, finely chopped
80 gm finely grated Parmigiano – Reggiano, additional for scattering
50 gm coarsely grated Fontina cheese, additional for scattering
1 tsp mixed dried Italian herbs (thyme, rosemary)
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. If not using left over pasta, cook dried pasta in a saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain pasta, refresh under cool running water, roughly chop and set aside.
Whisk eggs in a bowl, then add pancetta, cheeses, herbs, lemon rind and pasta. Toss well to combine and season to taste.
Heat oil in a ovenproof frying pan over high heat. Add egg and pasta mixture and cook until the edges begin to set. This should take only a few minutes. Transfer to oven and bake until set.
In the meantime, preheat a grill to high heat. Scatter extra Fontina cheese and Parmigiano over the frittata, grill until golden and bubbling. Make sure to keep an eye on it as this will only take a few minutes. Carefully transfer the frittata onto a serving plat and eat warm.