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Glorious Leftover Pasta, Hooray!

September 22, 2011

Whether you believe pasta’s origins are Etruscan (4th century BC) or brought by Marco Polo as he traveled along the Silk Road, in today’s world leftover pasta is universal.  If you’re like me, whenever you prepare pasta, you put a little extra in the pot of boiling water, just to be sure, and then at the end of the meal, you’re left with some.

No matter how little you have left, keep the pasta!  The possibilities for leftover pasta are many, including one (new to me) that I was introduced to this summer. Expand your horizons beyond reheating leftover pasta or making a cold pasta salad* and try this incredibly easy and fabulously delicious way to use leftover pasta — the Spaghetti Tortilla.

Fausto Luchetti, formerly an Executive Director of the International Olive Oil Council and a long-time friend and collaborator of Oldways, introduced me to the Spaghetti Tortilla (“tortilla” is the Spanish word for “omelette”) or Spaghetti Frittata.  In a small sailboat galley in Sweden this summer, Fausto as our ever-faithful chef, prepared a truffle pasta meal one night for all seven of us — his wonderful wife and son, Mar and Alessandro, long-time Oldways friends and journalists, Jen Skiff and Jon Sainken, Richard, our Swedish captain and me.  Even loving every mouthful, we fortunately left a small bowl of pasta, which we judiciously saved in the cramped galley fridge.

Unlike some of the leftovers that lingered in the bottom of the fridge for 10 days, the pasta reappeared the next day at lunch in the form of a Spaghetti Tortilla/Frittata.   The strong flavor of tartufo remained, and the long spaghetti was wound around the tortilla, looking like a bird’s nest, settled among the comfort of the incredible egg.

Simply, here are Fausto’s instructions.  In extra virgin olive oil, saute an onion and garlic until softened.  Add the spaghetti and then crack four to six eggs (depending on the size of the pan or merely on the number of eggs you have).  Let the eggs settle.  Use a spatula to make sure the eggs can be flipped or turned, and check the underside.  When the underside is lightly browned, flip the frittata, and cook for a few more minutes.

*Fausto made our Spaghetti Tortilla an hour or so before we sat down to lunch – it can be served hot or at room temperature.

–Sara
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