Leftovers…they CAN be one of your most delicious dishes. Do you ever have leftover sauced Spaghetti? I hope you said yes because If you do not do this already I will now become your new best friend. Reheating leftover spaghetti in the microwave should be a criminal offense. Maybe that’s harsh, and….maybe not. The ultimate goal of eating is to keep the body fueled and functioning. Why make everything quinoa puffs and kale? There’s no shame in making food that tastes exceptional. Nature gave us taste buds that help us to enjoy the various foods and dishes that mankind has developed over our history. A bowl of leftover spaghetti can become an even better dish (and I know you loved it when you made it) the next day, with a little help..and I mean, a little. First of all, I do research a dish before I blog my own version of it, you can’t make this fresh. Food undergoes chemical/physical changes and for some reason, if you fry the spaghetti in a pan after you’ve just cooked the dish is a fail. Epic fail. You’ve wasted a pound of good spaghetti. Your spaghetti needs to sit at least one night in the fridge and I think the texture and taste actually get better if you make it a few days after it’s first been made.
Some history…My Mom and countless other ItalianAmerican mothers or fathers and grandparents have made this for generations. It’s what we do with our pasta/macaroni leftovers. Every bite of this dish is a trip back into my childhood kitchen in Staten Island, NYC where my mother reigned as queen of her kitchen. Ever miss a loved one who has passed on? Make a dish that connects you to them and you’ll never eat without them ..ever!!
So how do you give a “recipe” for a dish that is really already cooked? here’s how…Simply take your leftover spaghetti and let it come to room temperature. In a heavy wide cast iron skillet preferably, add 2 tbs of olive oil. No measurements here because…you’ll never know how much you have, they are leftovers!!! In the pictures on here I used just under 1/2 lb of cooked, sauced left over spaghetti. Add this to the pan and make sure you hear a strong sizzle. DO NOT MOVE THE SPAGHETTI AROUND!~! After 6 minutes sprinkle 2 tbs. of PLAIN ITALIAN BREADCRUMBS (no seasoning)over the top…mix that into the spaghetti. Flip the spaghetti and let this cook on that side for 5 minutes or longer, looking at it to see it there’s caramelizing going on. If not, let it be…this dish is not good if it’s simply heated in the pan. You want to see THIS:see those spaghetti strands getting toasty? It’s fantastic. Side note, do not confuse this with the other very popular Southern Italian or ItalianAmerican FRITTATA DI SPAGHETTI, or Spaghetti Frittata, Spaghetti Pie. That has eggs beaten into it to create a pie like dish that can be cut into slices. That’s for another blogpost. If you have leftover meatballs, by all means, smash them into the pan too…continue to flip this spaghetti until it’s somewhat toasty on all sides. Easy. Now…how to serve it? Grate lots of Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano over it and place a side of Ricotta next to it. Sprinkle with peperoncino to taste and you are ready to eat.
SIDEBAR: When saucing the spaghetti on the day you actually made it DO NOT OVER SAUCE!!! Too much sauce creates a soft less crispy dish. I know you’re saying you like the extra sauce, but hold off before storing the leftovers in the fridge. It will never really caramelize if it’s too wet. Happy Cooking…Happy Eating!