Leftover Pasta Frittata with Sauteed Pesto Veggies

19 06 2012

Leftover pasta can get old, especially when you’re an Italian who makes pasta all the time! Latkes and frittatas are a great way to rejuvenate day-old pasta, turning leftovers into a brand new dish.

Latkes are traditionally made out of potatoes, and frittatas are traditionally egg-based like an omelette. But the key is not to limit yourself based on tradition! Here I’ve taken leftover pasta and turned it into a frittata based on a skillet cooking technique I learned from my boyfriend’s family (they make the best frittata!).

Leftover Pasta Frittata with Sauteed Pesto Veggies

The following serves 2:

  • Leftover pasta, whatever you have on hand, even if it’s already tossed in sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Beaten egg
  • Good handful of breadcrumbs
  • Good handful of parmesan cheese
  • Half a zucchini, diced
  • Half a yellow squash, diced
  • Pesto for veggies and topping

Combine leftover pasta with a beaten egg, breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Depending how much pasta you have you may need to adjust the egg / breadcrumb / cheese ratio….you’re looking for it to be potato cake-like. As a side note, if you’ve already tossed your pasta in sauce you can still use this technique, you just may need more breadcrumbs than if you used plain cooked pasta.

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat and add a few turns of olive oil to the pan. When the pan is hot, add the pasta mixture and flatten it out in the pan with the back of a spatula. Fry on both sides until golden brown. Here’s the trick to flipping the frittata…place the back of a baking sheet on the top of your skillet. Brace the baking sheet with one hand while using the other hand to turn the skillet upside down, so the cooked side of the frittata slides out on the back of the baking sheet. Next, slide the frittata back into your skillet, this time the uncooked side should be in the bottom of the skillet (you may need to add a little more olive oil before you do this). If you follow these steps slowly flipping it should be full proof 🙂

While the frittata cooks, quickly saute the zucchini and squash in a little olive oil over medium heat until softened. Off heat, mix in a few spoons of basil pesto (see recipe below) and a good sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Set aside until the frittata is done.

Once the frittata is golden brown on both sides, remove from the pan and place on a cutting board to cut into pieces. Serve pieces over the sauteed pesto veggies and top with a dollop of pesto and sprinkle of cheese.

To make the basil pesto:

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Toast the pine nuts until fragrant. Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Next add the cheese and process until smooth. Taste and season with a little more salt and pepper if desired.

If you’re serving immediately, add the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. If not, transfer the pesto mixture to a container and top with remaining oil, seal tightly and store in the fridge.

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