In this pasta frittata recipe, soft spaghetti pasta combines with creamy, cheesy eggs and crunchy bits of bacon which are then cooked together until crispy all over. Similar to the popular street snack frittatina Napoletana which look like smaller deep fried versions of the pasta frittata, this dish from Naples will make sure that no leftover pasta will ever goes to waste. Once you try its comforting flavours, you may find yourself making pasta just for a pasta frittata itself – try it out tonight and share it your friends and family!
- 350g spaghetti
- 5 eggs, lightly beaten
- 50g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
- 100g smoked Scamorza cheese, finely diced
- 1 sprig fresh thyme, chopped
- 50g bacon, finely diced
- 35g olive oil
- 100ml milk
- 1 garlic clove
This ingenious idea of using cooked pasta with simple ingredients of eggs, cheese and pepper was born in Naples. It is thought to date back to the post-war era when food was limited in Southern Italy and people looked for ways to eat simple food without the need for cutlery. Pasta frittata was made to be shared at the table, sliced up into portions like cake, as did Totò in the film Misery and Nobility (1954). Initially it was made only with long pasta – spaghetti – but it wasn’t long before people started using all the other types of pasta, depending on what was leftover from their meals. From bucatini to penne, with or without sauce, anything goes in this homely dish, so don’t be afraid to personalise and go with the flow in our recipe below.
This pasta frittata is great to eat the next day. Leave it in the fridge and pack it for lunch or whatever casual occasion you have on your social calendar. If you have leftover pasta from lunch or dinner, then you can use it – regardless of whether it has sauce or not, it will be just as delicious. Otherwise, boil your pasta in water with salt as indicated in the recipe below.
Egg-based dishes are satisfying and appeal to everyone – once you have tried our pasta frittata recipe, you might also want to try our onion frittata recipe – there’s no pasta in that one but trust us, it’s full of flavour and has the same comfort factor!
1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions. Drain, add a drizzle of oil and let it cool.
2. Place the eggs in a medium bowl and beat lightly. Add the Scamorza cheese, bacon, thyme, milk and some pepper and mix to combine.
3. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan and add the whole garlic clove. When the garlic starts turning golden, remove from the pan and discard.
4. Add all the pasta to the pan, with the garlic-infused oil. Stir, allow to fry for a few minutes before pouring over the egg mix. Let the frittata cook for a couple of minutes, then sprinkle the grated Parmigiano cheese on top.
5. Cover and cook on a medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Flip it over and let cook on the other side for a further 5 minutes without the lid.
In Naples you will easily come across the frittatina napoletana – small deep fried balls of pasta that usually also contain a creamy béchamel sauce and other ingredients such as ham and peas. Similar to the pasta frittata but in a more convenient format, these smaller cousins of the pasta frittata are often sold at street stalls and takeaway pizza shops where you can grab them and eat them on the go in their paper wrappers. It’s also common to find locals eating them as appetizers before their pizza.