There’s something about spaghetti for breakfast – or eating the crusts of homemade pizza in the morning for that matter – that remind me of countless carefree summer days living along the coast of Naples. When I was younger, my mother’s best friend and everyday espresso partner taught her how to make use of leftover spaghetti by baking a simple frittata. The following recipe is the perfect example of how southern Italians make something delicious out of a handful of seemingly unimportant surplus ingredients.
Once baked this dish packs well as picnic food. Served cold – wrapped in parchment paper – with a ripe red tomato washed in the salty ocean – is how I remember this rustic Neapolitan frittata at its very best.
Served straight from the oven sprinkled with salt flakes – it makes for a wonderfully simple lunch – even without a view of the Mediterranean.
The crunchy brown curls of the baked spaghetti are the best part by the way . . .
- 225 grams of spaghetti . cooked and chilled (leftovers are perfect)
- 75 grams of finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 6 fresh organic eggs
- one tablespoon of thick Turkish or Greek yoghurt
- one ripe tomato
- one small shallot or two spring onions
- a handful of fresh basil leaves
- sea salt flakes
- a touch of lemon zest
- a pinch of dried red pepper
- fresh buffalo mozzarella . optional
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Cover a tart form or pastry dish with parchment paper. Break the eggs into a bowl. Add a pinch of sea salt, some fresh lemon zest, a pinch of dried red pepper and a spoon of thick yoghurt. Whisk the ingredients into a pale yellow batter. Add the spaghetti to the bowl and mix well.
Peel the shallot (or spring onion . or even a piece of red onion will do perfectly). Chop the tomato into wedges and blend both into a fine purée with a blender or food processor. Grate the Parmesan and tear the basil leaves into bite sized pieces. Toss the tomato-shallot mixture, the fresh herbs and the cheese through the spaghetti-egg batter already resting in the bowl.
Spoon the ingredients into the tart form, spreading them out evenly. Bake the frittata 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve it right away or let it cool – both work and both are delicious !
In Naples a traditional spaghetti frittata is served with fresh buffalo mozzarella. This is a match made in heaven but a green salad and a thick slice of sourdough bread works perfectly too.
If you have any vegetables at hand, feel free to add them in. In the summer, fresh leeks and finely chopped cavolo nero (also known as Tuscan kale) make for a lovely green and fresh frittata. In the fall, consider mushrooms or even some roasted pumpkin for a vegetable-spaghetti frittata.
Buon appetito !
This recipe is my twist on one of Jamie’s 17 Food Revolution recipes. I gladly contribute to Mr. Oliver’s campaign as super ambassador of the Food Revolution. I too feel that teaching and passing on cooking skills to friends and family makes life not only more meaningful but infinitely more valuable on an every level. Read more on this here.