Frittata di Spaghetti (Neapolitan Spaghetti Omelet)

Frittata di Spaghetti (Neapolitan Spaghetti Omelet)

I’ve heard Italians from other regions make jokes about how Neapolitans love their frittatas of pasta — “those poor people whose cuisine is so limited and who eat so much pasta they even put it in their omelets.” It’s a point not well taken in Naples, where the pasta frittata is instead considered a stroke of Neapolitan genius: “We clever people who can take just a few eggs, some bits of cheese and leftover spaghetti and make such a glorious dish.” Once you have made a spaghetti frittata, you will definitely side with the Neapolitans and make the dish a part of your life, too.

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Serves 4 as a main dish, about 8 as an antipasto

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 ounces linguine, spaghetti or other pasta, cooked and sauced or not sauced, leftover or freshly cooked, at room temperature
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino or a combination of both (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Optional: 5 ounces scamorza or several-days-old mozzarella, sliced

Instructions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pasta, the beaten eggs, the black pepper and the grated cheese. Mix well.
  2. In a 9- to 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and swirl it around to make it coat the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add half the pasta and spread it evenly in the pan. Place the sliced cheese on top (if using), but don’t put any cheese within 1/2-inch of the edge. Add the remaining pasta and spread it to make sure it covers the bottom pasta layer and the sliced cheese. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes to 8 minutes, or until the bottom browns.
  4. Place a plate on top of the pan and reverse the frittata so it falls onto the plate. Slip the frittata back into the skillet and cook the other side for another 5 to 8 minutes, until it browns.
  5. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Variations:

Instead of scamorza or mozzarella, you can use any good melting cheese, such as Gouda, Fontina, Gruyère, or Swiss (Emmenthaler).

In addition to, or instead of, the melting cheese, sprinkle a few extra tablespoons of grated cheese between the layers of pasta.

Add diced salami or diced, thinly sliced ham with the cheese.

– From Naples At Table: Cooking In Campania; More Than 250 Recipes From Avellino, Benevento, Caserta, Salerno, The Amalfi Coast, Capri And Ischia. New York: HarperCollins, 1998. 436p. –

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