Frittata di pasta

Adapted from Leite’s Culinaria and Gennaro Contaldo


  • Pasta leftovers
  • 4 eggs
  • 40 g Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil


  1. Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk very well, until streaks no longer appear. Mix in the cheese, oil, salt, and a grind of pepper.
  2. If you have sauced spaghetti, dump it in a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat along with a couple tablespoons water and heat until it’s warm but before it starts to sizzle.
  3. Drain off any water that hasn’t evaporated and turn the spaghetti into the egg mixture.
  4. Wipe out the skillet, return it to medium-low heat, and add enough oil or butter to slick the bottom and sides of the skillet.
  5. Add the egg mixture, distributing the spaghetti evenly if it clumps.
  6. Turn the heat to low and occasionally rotate the skillet a quarter turn if the egg seems to be cooking unevenly around the edges. When the perimeter of the frittata looks set and the center is still somewhat liquid, which should be after about 8 minutes, run a table knife around the skillet to loosen the sides of the frittata and carefully slip a thin metal spatula under it to loosen the underside.
  7. Invert a plate over the skillet and place one hand over the plate and the other hand on the skillet handle. Here comes the exciting part—you’re going to flip the frittata onto the plate. (We admit that it can end in disaster, but you have to stay confident and strong.) You don’t want the frittata to slide onto the plate or fold over, so the motion should be up and over, not just over, and it has to happen kind of quickly. Alley-oop, and it’s on the plate and the skillet is clean.
  8. Set the plate down and quickly slick the skillet with a little more oil or butter. Then, with the help of the spatula, encourage the frittata to slide back in. Don’t worry if things are looking a little Humpty Dumpty—just fit it all back together again and keep it over low heat until it’s cooked through, about 7 more minutes.
  9. When the frittata seems to be cooked through, make a crack in the middle with the tip of the spatula and sneak a peek to see that the egg is all set. Then slide or flip the frittata onto a plate.
  10. Let cool a little or a lot, slice in wedges or squares or long skinny strips, and serve. (A frittata tastes good hot, better after it has cooled a half hour or so, and possibly best after it has had a chance to regroup on the countertop for an afternoon.)

I had the leftovers from this other pasta dish, so… I love Gennaro’s suggestion: “If it’s springtime, make the basic recipe extra special by adding peas and pancetta.” Shelling fresh peas in Germany was such a dream. I wish we had in season produce like in Radolfzell. Next time I will use more eggs, so that it holds together better!


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