By now, we’ve learned that if there’s any bright spot to cooking during an extended period of self-isolation or quarantine at home, it’s that the normal standards of behavior in your own kitchen no longer apply. Want to bake and eat an entire cake in the middle of the night? No problem. Does cinnamon go with salmon? It does today. Feel like eating leftover spaghetti for breakfast? There’s no better time than now.
We love this recipe for a few reasons. First, it’s a great way to use up the leftover cooked pasta that’s lurking in the back of the fridge after yet another spaghetti night. For that matter, it’s a great way to use up almost anything in the fridge, in a zero-rules, no-holds-barred run at your leftovers and produce drawer. In a frittata, anything goes, and the more you add to this recipe, the better the end result. Chopped bacon. Crumbled breakfast sausage. A half an onion. A past-its-prime tomato. It all gets bound together by a silky mixture of cooked pasta, beaten egg and Parmesan, and baked in the oven until fluffy and golden brown.
A leftover pasta breakfast frittata is also a fantastic way to sneak additional calories into a single meal, which can be a boon for anyone trying to maintain a healthy weight during chemotherapy or radiation therapy. A hearty breakfast frittata can be a simple, one-pan dish that’s quick to prepare with just a few ingredients, is easy to chew and eat, is psychologically comforting, and can provide an extra heaping helping of the calories your body needs to speed recovery and minimize side effects.
The freewheeling nature of this recipe is part of the fun; don’t worry about perfectly distributing your ingredients in the pan or smoothing out a perfectly even surface. A few bits of noodle poking out here and there will turn toasty, crunchy and brown in the oven, lending pleasing texture contrasts to the finished dish.
Leftover Pasta Breakfast Frittata
- 1/4 pound of cooked spaghetti, linguine, fettuccini or angel hair pasta
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup each of any or all of the following: chopped tomato, chopped onion, cooked chopped bacon, crumbled breakfast sausage, chopped cooked pancetta
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop cooked pasta roughly into 3-inch pieces.
Melt butter in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add eggs, pasta and any additional ingredients to the pan, and stir quickly to combine. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, if desired. Top with shredded Parmesan cheese and cook until bottom of eggs are set, then transfer to oven. Bake until eggs are fluffy and just barely set, about 8-10 minutes. Invert frittata onto plate, cut into wedges and serve hot.