Crispy Fried Leftover Pasta

A staple growing up in my Italian family was having leftover pasta fried in olive oil, until it reached peak crispiness! My Grandmother and Mother would serve this often, and there is nothing quite like it. There is something really special about the texture and taste profile of this dish. There are a few variations I’ve seen with this dish, but the recipe will be the way our family has always made it.

Crispy Fried Leftover Pasta

  • Leftover refrigerated pasta with sauce on it (any type will do)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (2-3 TBS depending on how much pasta you have leftover)
  • Sea Salt

It’s so simple. Heat a cast-iron or stainless steel skillet to medium-high heat. (I don’t use non-stick, but that will work) Add the cold leftover pasta to the skillet and hear a good sizzle.  Add a drizzle of olive oil to the top of the pasta. Let it get good and crispy on one side before disturbing it, about 7 minutes. This also depends on how crispy you want the pasta. I like mine very crispy so I keep it in longer. Flip the pasta and crisp the other side to your desired crispiness. Sprinkle with sea salt or pink Himalayan salt. Of course you can add Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano to the top if you prefer!

Variations: I’ve seen some folks add some breadcrumbs before flipping the pasta. In my opinion it isn’t necessary because it absolutely gets crispy enough without it. However, it is their tradition, so to each their own! I’ve also seen it done with plain pasta with butter and cheese. This will have a totally different flavor but very delicious. I would add a little grass-fed butter and Pecorino Romano cheese to the pasta and then follow the same directions as above to create your crispy and cheesy pasta! The last variation is more of a frittata as you add egg and cheese to the pasta and fry or bake it.  You can cut t into wedges and it is a lovely brunch option.

Give it a try and report back what you think of this Italian comfort food tradition!

Buon Appetito!

Sara ~ Fresh Foodie Mama~



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