Monday, May 4, 2020

Fried Spaghetti

Not the prettiest dish but Fried Spaghetti is the most delicious, cheap leftovers revamp I've ever had! Adding a few eggs, cheese and herbs with a low and slow cook gets the pasta bottom nice and crispy - if youre extra skilled you can flip it all in one piece, but i usually break it up into chunks.

As a kid, I loved "cheap as chips" comfort food. The meals I often look back on with the most fondness are actually "leftover" meals that mom keeps telling me were thrown together because we didn't have anything else at the time - I'm talking "eggs the way somebody else's mother used to make them" (torn up stale bread, buttered and fried in a pan topped with sunny-side up eggs), leftover Kraft Dinner with a handful of frozen peas and some tomato sauce, and left over rice mixed with cottage cheese and salsa. All delicious, all 100% not gourmet or fancy in any way. In university, I carried these recipes with me, eating them for as long as I could before my stomach gave me issues, then making them for my roommates.

One of these recipes followed me all the way to today, where I make it with my younger Home Ec kids. Fried spaghetti is essentially just that - leftover sauced pasta fried in a skillet with eggs to hold it all together. Feeling fancy, I added a few herbs to the egg mixture, but in all honesty as long as the sauce you use is decent they are optional. The trick is to really take your time - you want a crispy, crunchy pasta on both sides but you also need the eggs to cook, so spread out the noodles as best you can and cook over medium or medium-low heat for at least 5 minutes a side. I made double batches for the kids and had fridge-cold pasta, so it took us about 10 minutes a side. That said, there were no complaints, and not a single scrap left over!

Fried Spaghetti
Serves 4
½ cup milk
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (yup, the pre-done stuff is fine here)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
4 eggs
2 tbsp olive oil (not extra virgin) or your preferred cooking oil
½ pound leftover cooked spaghetti with tomato sauce
  1. Whisk together the milk, cheese, salt, pepper, parsley, basil, oregano, garlic powder and eggs in a small bowl.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a frying pan or skillet.
  3. Pour the spaghetti into the pan and spread out into a thin layer.
  4. Pour the egg mixture evenly over spaghetti and cook, without stirring, until bottom is crispy, about 5 minutes.
  5. Turn spaghetti mixture (I find it easiest to break it up first and flip individual "chunks").
  6. Finish cooking over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.
  7. Serve hot, with extra sauce if desired.

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